“Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.” –Victor Hugo

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A year ago today, I walked tearfully and joyfully down an aisle of perfectly spaced rose petals (thanks, Annabelle!) to my tearful and joyful fiancé.

My mother told me that it is possible to walk down the aisle without a doubt in your mind that you are doing the right thing, the best thing, and she was right. I felt nothing but a deep, deep sense of peace and happiness about my decision. That hasn’t changed.

This year hasn’t been easy. After our Colorado honeymoon, we lived in Texas for a month (I mean, we just couldn’t miss out on Texas in July, especially with how lively a place College Station is during the summer), sold everything we could on Craig’s List, then made our way to NYC. There, in our sublease on 47th & 8th, we fell asleep to the lullaby of Broadway every night: theater crowds, followed by party busses blaring music, followed, finally, by the quiet clip-clop of an NYPD horse. We grew rather fond of that last part!

Then there was the whole debacle of the apartment search, during which hurricane Sandy obligingly narrowed down our choices to an amazing and relatively cheap no broker fee apartment with a yard, but in a neighborhood riddled with violent crime, or to an okay-for-Manhattan apartment with a 12% broker fee in the peaceful but Yetta-inhabited Yorkville.

As I enjoy walking to and from the subway independently, our dreams of a dog and a yard shattered as we forked over the $2500 for the broker plus $1800 first month’s rent for our Yorkville apartment, which we had barely settled into before Daniel’s 60-100 hour work weeks began for Busy Season.

It was a hectic year. A hard year. But not because of Daniel. He did not turn out to be the husband marriage books told me he would be. Had I listened to them, I would have braced myself for argument upon argument, and for taking care of a man-child who needed to be tamed and lassoed into marriage! On the contrary, I found in my husband a more godly, giving, wise, and compassionate man than I had known before. And we have so much fun together– there’s no one I’d rather spend time with. Despite living in NYC, the city with everything, my favorite times during this year have been spent talking and laughing in our 350 square foot apartment.

Happy Anniversary, Daniel. I’m so glad that over four years ago, we decided to make what we thought was a rather foolish decision to pursue our relationship, which is growing into a beautiful marriage.

The Wilmots go to Washington

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Wilmots at the White House

Having never been to D.C., I was thrilled when a friend there suggested we apartment swap for the weekend! Last Friday, the Wegmanns arrived in NYC, were loaded up with goodies from Orwasher’s, we swapped keys, and the Wilmots were off on a Bolt Bus to our nation’s capital. We were welcomed with a steady rain, but not one so miserable we couldn’t stop to appreciate the sights we saw along the way, like the Library of Congress and the Capitol.

The next day we fueled up for our jaunt down the Mall with breakfast at Founding Farmers, where I convinced Daniel to order chicken & waffles– could there be anything more American than that? I ordered Eggs Benedict, and think they missed an opportunity to pun when they didn’t add “Arnold” to the end of its name on the menu. The place is called Founding Farmers, after all.

The White House was our first stop, followed by the Mall. We scanned the day’s front pages from all 50 states and several countries at the outdoor exhibit at the Newseum. What a day for that, as less than twelve hours before the second Tsarnaev brother had been taken into custody. It was interesting to see how each newspaper treated the news. Kansas, I love you, but you didn’t do a great job, though there were papers from some states, like Wyoming, that didn’t mention the event on the front page at all.

We reached the capitol and promptly took a nap on the lawn, following our tradition of Taking Naps In Famous Places (the first being on the lawn in front of the Louvre in May 2009).

Later that day, we had the pleasure of meeting up with our friend, Jenny, and her fiance, at the National Portrait Gallery! She’s a friend from our study abroad in France. We browsed famous portraits of presidents, scientists, artists, and pop culture icons before saying good-bye.

After refueling at Ella’s for pizza, we went to see the Jefferson & Lincoln Memorials at night, which was my mother’s suggestion. She was right! Daniel told me to avert my eyes from the Lincoln Memorial until we were in just the right place to see it in all of its glory. Every history book from school didn’t prepare me for how massive and beautiful it is! The Jefferson Memorial was almost as impressive.

After brunch the next day, we went to the National Museum of American History. The highlights for me include the First Ladies exhibit (the dresses… oh my gosh…), and, of course, Julia Child’s sweet, cozy kitchen.

We ended our trip with a homemade pop tart from Ted’s Bulletin, and then were off on the Bolt Bus home, where I developed a friend crush on a girl watching the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice. 

Washington, D.C. pleasantly surprised me in so many ways. First of all, it is pristine. The buildings are almost all beautiful, the air smells like spring, and hardly a piece of litter was to be seen. My feet had not stepped on a grassy lawn in months, nor had I been able to look out a window and see the sky without craning my neck. I hope we are able to visit again soon!

 

Cultural pursuits

I haven’t posted in months because you would hear the same, dramatic drivel: Daniel’s gone, Daniel’s working 80-100 hours a week, it’s winter, blah blah. It was so hard from January to the beginning of April to never see my husband except for when he came to visit me at the bakery early in the morning and when he would come home from work at 3 AM. That, combined with winter weather, meant moral was quite low for the Wilmots. But, now, spring is here, Busy Season is over, and we’re finally able to take advantage of living in this wonderful city!

So far we’ve enjoyed lazy strolls through Battery Park & Union Square…ImageImage

…and have been pursuing culture as much as our budget allows!

We saw our first off-Broadway show thanks to Daniel standing in line at the TKTS stand, which was a stone’s throw away when we were subleasing in Times Square, but back then we didn’t have the expendable income for even the most discounted of tickets! I have yet to see my first Broadway show– which one do you think it should be?

As I’ve said before, one of the best wedding presents we received was a gift card to the Metropolitan Opera which enabled us to purchase a seven opera subscription. We chose quantity of tickets over quality of seats, which I do not regret though binoculars are absolutely necessary!

We saw the penultimate opera in our subscription two weeks ago– La Traviata– and it may have been the most incredible musical experience I’ve ever had– and not just because Domingo Placido happened to be in it. We felt a bit silly for not knowing he was there until we glanced at our program during the intermission, but at least we weren’t in the dark when he was welcomed on stage in Act II to thunderous applause. His co-stars were equally as magnificent– I was holding back tears by the end and insisted we stay through the curtain call to give especially the prima donna her due applause. We were rewarded with almost immediately finding a taxi afterwards with not a single person accusing us of stealing it from them!

Next up will be visiting museums, particularly the Met and the Guggenheim, both of which are within about half a mile from our apartment.

We’re also taking a weekly French class at fi: af (French Institute/Alliance française). We met because of our mutual love of the French language and culture, so it’s fun to revisit that! 

So, as you can see, life in NYC is treating us well. I don’t know how to explain our ability to have so much fun and yet keep food on the table except to say that we are very, very, VERY blessed.

What we’ve been up to (mostly eating bread)

Busy season is full swing, which means that I rejoice if Daniel comes home as early as 9:30 PM, because some time in between 10:00 PM and 11:15 has become the norm. Ew. Despite his long hours, he managed to run a half-marathon  (though due to his long hours, he couldn’t train), and beat his last time by an hour. That was due to a knee injury that occurred during the last half he did, so it’s not quite as amazing as it sounds, but I’m still very proud of him! Let’s see if he can do it next time!

I am currently nannying two hours a day for a charming French family with three wonderful children, and three days a week you’ll find me behind the counter at Orwasher’s, a nearly century-old bakery. It has been located on my street since it opened, but the most recent owner has progressed the business considerably, adding in his own recipes and opening a new location at All Good Things Market in Tribeca. Unfortunately the growth has meant moving production from my street, where the smell of freshly-baked bread used to waft through the neighborhood, to the Bronx. But I can’t complain when I get all of the artisan bread and pastries I could ever want!

Working there has been a great way to become better acquainted with my neighbors on the Upper East Side. I also enjoy guessing what customers will be purchasing when they walk in the door. Older, born & raised New Yorkers will go for rye (and if they’re very serious about bread, will request a piece of our 10 pound loaf). Twenty & thirtysomethings take chardonnay miche or ultimate whole wheat. Type-A career women will come in for just a cup of coffee, and if they get food it’s a mini loaf of our morning spelt bread or a plain croissant. Those looking for a special treat will order our jelly donuts, which are stuffed to order with large syringes filled with local, organic preserves. Yeah… there’s a reason that they were named the best jelly donuts in NYC!

I’ve also had to learn about Jewish culture a bit, so that I can answer questions about what’s kosher respond to those who observe our selection of hamantaschen and exclaim, “Is it Purim already?!” No, no it’s not, we have those all year ’round.

Neither being a nanny nor working at Orwasher’s help to fulfill any kind of career goals, but they’re not bad gigs to have in a city where finding a job seems nearly impossible. It’s comforting to know others in the same boat as I am. I’m thinking of going back to teaching. Unfortunately I’m ineligible for most teaching fellowships in NYC as I have teaching experience, so I may have to go back to school. We’ll see! For right now, I’m thankful that I have a job and that I am not under so much pressure to look for one.

In March, when busy season ends, we’ll be able to take more advantage of this wonderful city. We haven’t been able to do this much so far because when we first arrived we had no money, then every weekend had to be spent apartment searching, and now he works every weekend. We did, however, get to see L’Elisir D’Amore at the Metropolitan Opera last Saturday. It was adorable! The link above will show you clips. I’ll be so sad when our subscription to the Met is over. It has been such a blessing! Maybe next year we’ll do it again, but with seats somewhere below the nosebleed section!

Continuing my trend of being the worst blogger ever…

Now that charity: ball and the holidays are over, I’m going to try to get back to blogging.  Firstly, I do want to direct your attention to the charity: water blog entry on charity: ball, because it sums things up much better and more attractively than I could! My role at the actual event included monitoring the VIP entrance (through which Whoopi Goldberg did NOT enter, darn her, but John Slattery and Seth Meyers did!), and escorting Seth Meyers to the bathroom. Squee! Daniel helped with the live auction, during which time nothing was actually auctioned off– it was basically a clever way to peer pressure everyone into donating money to water projects. Over $3,000,000 was raised, and as a result, over 80,000 people will receive a clean, sustainable water source! Sometimes peer pressure has very positive results!

My internship ended a week after the event. In one way it was a relief, because as wonderful as it was, I did discover that I do not want to be an event planner. I’m happy I was able to make this discovery in the best possible way, working with the best possible people! I will miss seeing them every day. Due to how busy I was and the brevity of my post, I did not get to know nearly as many people nearly as well as I would have liked. And that includes many of the volunteers– there are so many wonderful people involved in this organization. So give it all your money!

We spent the holidays in Rhode Island seeing Daniel’s sweet family, and now we’re back in our tiny, cozy Upper East Side apartment. We’ve lived here about two months but have hardly been home to enjoy it. Soon I’ll post pictures of our dwarfish Christmas tree and our couch-sized living room so that you can marvel at what $1,800/month doesn’t you in Manhattan!

Seriously, though, as much as I make fun of our poky dwellings, I do enjoy living here. My resolution for 2013 is to take advantage of all that New York has to offer as much as we possibly can. We’ve been going a mile a minute since moving here and have hardly been able to take pleasure in the fact that we are living where so many people dream of living!

Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Christmas Tree