Below is the results of 15 minutes of dedicated writing each day (that I could manage to do so):

Monday, July 17

We leave for Colorado in 2 days. I suppose I should have done more wedding-related packing today, because I did about… zero. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t gotten anything useful done, just not packing. Most of my clothes should be good to go, as I have built an exhaustive packing list.

But the rest of it basically all has to get done tomorrow when we get the rental car, which is raising my hackles.

So what did I do today? I scrambled 9 holes at Westwood with Sam and Tatiana this morning to break in my new orange shorts. No loft with my driver, short with every putt – two things that guarantee you won’t have your best round. But after scuffling for several holes, I really found my stride from the 5th through the 9th with my wedge and 9 iron. So I felt pretty good about that. Afterwards, the 3 of us went to Qdoba for lunch. I spent about 45 minutes talking Tatiana through the entire wedding schedule since she was stressing about never having been to one before. And this is someone not in the wedding party.

When I got home from golf, it was only about 2 hours before I had to pop back up to work. So I took a few minutes to just sit down and catch my breath, then I worked on a few projects to prepare for the weekend. The most memorable of these was scooping out 30 bags worth of Scipio’s kibble for the two-ish weeks he’ll be at Fetch and Stay. 30 bags worth of kibble is neither light nor a small amount of volume. I hope the little monster eats every last bite, because it took 15 minutes.

Once I got to work, actual work interrupted my ability to focus on minor wedding projects. I still had time to write thank you notes to each of the 5 forecasters who’s covering one of my mids that I’m missing this week in between issuing “warnings” (the storms died in Kansas). So, it wasn’t a total loss of a day.

It feels like there’s still a billion things that need to happen between now and Saturday. I know Elizabeth can’t sleep because those billion things are running through her mind. Maybe I’m broken since I’m not that stressed out, but I genuinely believe we’re on track and have put ourselves in position for a successful week. How will it all happen? No clue. But why worry about it when I could just enjoy the biggest week of my life?

Tuesday, July 18

Our last full day in Oklahoma! I’m pretty sure we’re way too busy for me to reckon with what a life-changing week this is. Right now, it’s just living minute-by-minute.

I’m hopeful we’ve made it through the last of the Major Elizabeth Meltdowns this week. Today’s was a doozy, brought on by an email from our wedding planner, Wanda, asking how we planned to break down approximately 100 vases since our florist wasn’t going to stay to break them down. Elizabeth’s been a lot like a summer day in Florida this week. She broke down violently like an afternoon thunderstorm, then calmed down and immediately handled it with her usual competence.

That has relegated me to somewhere in between emotional cheerleader and expert car packer extraordinaire. I got our rental car from Hertz after a 6:00-3:00 workday from home that included a webinar for my WOC severe course. Being the inattentive dumbass that I am, I was unprepared to pick up a full-size SUV instead of the full-size car I was expecting. Our Ford Explorer is a tank. Not quite big enough to handle all of the stuff we need to take with us to Colorado, but enough to make a much bigger dent than would have been possible in a Subaru Outback. James came by to pick up a few more things that wouldn’t quite fit, and then the three of us went to McAlester’s for dinner. Elizabeth and I have spent the evening since then cleaning up our house. It’s amazing how empty it feels now that there aren’t wedding crafts all over the sunroom and living room floors.

Scipio is at Fetch and Stay. As I write this in bed, Elizabeth took her pillows back from me. Underneath them was his green dinosaur chew toy. As much as I am glad we don’t have to deal with him for two weeks, I’m also going to miss the little monster.

It’s 10:45 now; we will wake up around 4:30 and try to be on the road by 5:00. Riley, Erin, Kenzie, and Drew are going to the Rockies game in Denver at 2:00 tomorrow, and I think we can make it there by about the 4th inning or so. There’s still so many things to do – I have to finish our relationship playlist by adding 2023 songs, we have thank you notes to write, and Elizabeth has a literal job interview. But for now, we just need to get some rest to be ready to start this weekend off right.

Wednesday, July 19

Greetings from Colorado! Elizabeth and I woke up at 4:30 today. She woke up on the 3rd try – not too bad! We had a few things left to do this morning – a last load of dishes, trash to empty, a wedding dress to meticulously place on top of a bed of Ikea bags – and so we ended up leaving closer to 5:30 than the 5:00 I’d been hoping for. No matter – we wouldn’t get to Denver quite at 2:00, but I was cool with getting to the Rockies game in the 4th inning.

Elizabeth was in high spirits for the first couple of hours of the drive. I think she was just happy to finally be out of the house, which has become her own personal cocoon of wedding planning. Not even an extremely subpar set of hash browns from the Edmond Whataburger could ruin the morning. The sun rose in a blaze of glory. I hope to always remember the sight of the rain-swollen Cimarron River, underneath a sky of altocumulus, with the sun lighting up the surface of the water a brilliant orange. Oklahoma seemed so large and open.

By the time we got into Kansas, the sunny morning had given way to a weird stratus-y fog. Easy for avoiding the glare from morning sunrise, but the lighting made me strain in my brand-new contacts prescription. But don’t worry – the morning gets weirder. Because after a quick stint in between the Belle Plains travel stop and Salina driving, Elizabeth had to go back to the passenger seat… because she had a phone interview for a new emergency management consulting job! On my end, it sounded like the interview went great. I have absolutely no bias when I say they should hire her immediately.

So yeah, it was a bit of a weird morning. But the whole drive to Colorado seemed to be going so fast. In fact, we might get to see most of the Rockies game if we got there not long after 2:00.

And that’s when I realized that the game was starting at 2:00 CDT, so 1:00 MDT. We were going to get to Denver in like the 6th inning. I chose to beat myself up over it for a little while, but we actually flipped the tickets immediately. So, other than ridiculous SeatGeek fees it was no harm, no foul.

We made our last driver switch to put me back behind the wheel in Limon early in the afternoon. Palmer Divide was shockingly green.

We only got from 2016 to the middle of 2020 in the Nolan and Elizabeth Playlist today, in particular because I decided to bet on the Astros/Rockies game like I was going to be there anyway. My PrizePicks Rockies unders stack had a real chance of turning $20 into $500, which is a great way to make a drive through Denver traffic less painful (note: it lost on the very last batter who could kill it, when all he needed to do was not hit a home run in the 9th inning of a game with his team down 4. Horrific beat).

We got into Boulder a little after 3:00 right next to a classic Front Range thunderstorm. I could just feel the stress melting away from Elizabeth like her spray tan will when we hit the glacier in Iceland. We’re staying in a very, very nice suite at a Hyatt just outside of the downtown part of Pearl Street tonight. It has an awesome view of the Flatirons.

We took a walk to Target to pick up a folder and some acne medication, then a walk to REI to pick up bear spray. Following that, Elizabeth and I got back to our roots and found a brewery within walking distance so that I could go get my flight on (ironically, our friend Robby visits this brewery every Wednesday night for trivia. It was pretty fun and random to get to see him).

Other than seeing Robby, the other story of the evening was *not* seeing people. My cousins went to Boulder after the game we missed, and actually got drinks close enough to where we could have joined, but left for Estes Park before Elizabeth and I could walk there. My siblings are also staying in Boulder tonight, but they were delayed on getting in until about 8:30. I want to make sure this weekend is one we always remember, but that mentality has been the basis for so many times where Elizabeth and I push ourselves beyond the snapping point during a trip. So I think it was probably the right decision to stay at our hotel and get some rest (it’s 9:40 and Elizabeth is already asleep. Since we were up at 3:30 MDT, that’s understandable).

How am I feeling tonight? Relieved to be here. Happy to be off of work and in Colorado. Not nervous yet, although I’m sure that’s coming. Sort of guilty for spending a beautiful Colorado evening indoors after the brewery, but I recognize that pacing ourselves is going to be important. And most of all, tired. Let’s maybe try not to make tomorrow’s entry 900 words also.

Saturday, July 22

The obvious: I have not had time to blog the last few days. It’s unbelievable how busy Elizabeth and I have been. Just driving around Estes Park over the last two days has used half a tank of gas on the big old Explorer. So the daily wedding diary has gone by the wayside.

I also couldn’t possibly summarize all of the last two days except to say that they’ve been awesome. There are so many memories that I’ve made, and all of them have been good. The night at the Wheel Bar with everyone, the hike to Dream Lake yesterday, an insanely fun rehearsal dinner: all of it.

Outside of some minor trouble with my grandparents, it has largely been an issue-free weekend. The weather has been sporadically unsettled in the best kind of way, with 2 straight days of hail and a *triple rainbow* at the rehearsal dinner last night.

I guess you could say the number of shots I took Thursday night at The Wheel Bar was a bit of an issue, but even then I expertly executed the puke-and-rally strategy that night. Liquid IV is a savior.

The rehearsal actually increased my stress. There are so many details that we hadn’t considered. I thought Elizabeth and I had discussed every detail, but when it comes to the ceremony that is emphatically not the case. If there are nerves (and there are), this is where they lie. That and the first dance, which I’ve been practicing. I know these are all details, and the imperfections of a day are what make it so perfect. It’s easy to say you know it, and a lot less easy to keep from being at least a little nervous.

For now, I’m just hanging out alone in the theater room, watching The Open. I’ll start seeing groomsmen in about an hour. Hopefully not being alone will make the morning a little less nervous. And hopefully I can share more details in this blog at a future time.

Today’s the big day. These are my last few hours as an unmarried man. That’s unbelievable to think about.

Postscript: Saturday, August 5

So obviously I never found the time to write one more post before getting swept up overseas. Let me just say it before the memory fades: our wedding, from the moment Elizabeth walked down the aisle to the moment we walked out of the ceremony together, was perfect. Every last second. I wouldn’t change a single thing, from the rain shower during our vows to the mashed potatoes at dinner to the songs played during the honeymoon dance. We were there with all of our friends and family and everyone had a blast. What more could you ask for?

During the reception, I got the feeling that this was all somehow a culmination. Two years of effort, tears, and travel had paid off with this magical night. There was a part of me that was almost sad to be moving on from this chapter in life. But only a part: only a fool gets existential on their wedding night, especially when the DJ is playing Down by Jay Sean.

Elizabeth has officially been my wife now for 2 weeks. There are many more weeks to come. That in and of itself feels like an entire world change. But is it really? We still go to bed at night and Scipio lays in between us just like before. We still go to see movies. But now I use my fancy onion-cutter when we make dinner together instead of a knife, and when I shower I worry about my wedding band falling off. So it’s not all the same.

I could probably type thousands of words with little stories from the wedding night that I never want to forget. But that’s why we have a photographer and a videographer, right? I just want to make it clear that even at the time I knew it was the perfect wedding, and I’m sure it will only get more perfect as the memory fades into the more-distant past.

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