Wedding Day

On October 28, 2017 I married the man whose dreams were bigger than mine. I married the man I advised my friends against, the kind that follows you to New York to win you over after knowing you for eight weeks. The man that loves his mother, his sister, his women friends with a fierce respect. The man that fights for my joy. The man I let explore the darkest corners of my mind, and guide me to light.

6.jpg

We knew we wanted  a future together less than a year of knowing each other. We went through lots of ups and downs living in a city that doesn’t care about you. We grew up together. We learned about life together. It’s been hard, but so worth it.

We imagined our wedding representing equal parts of each of us. For him, the natural quiet of the outdoors, the bourbon, and the humongous wedding party. And for me the hours of girl-time prep, the intimate ceremony, and the epic dance party.

My friends indulged in my moody music taste while I was getting ready, switching abruptly between Christmas carols and Cardi B. We gulped down mimosas and coffee and watched all of the “Father of the Bride” movies while the boys got their beards trimmed and sipped bourbon at the farm house.

The weather was cold and dreary, bringing out a flock of hawks before the ceremony. Who needs to release doves when your heart is made of murder mysteries and mayhem? Nature knew what mood to set. My bridesmaids refused the leather jackets I suggested to walk down the aisle and kept warm standing as close to each other as possible. You guys were right though, the pictures were worth it. My family took care of the guests running blankets out to the older folks, but no one complained. I walked down the aisle to my favorite hymn and I squeezed my dad’s arm to ward away his tears. I said “I do” with a carefree confidence I don’t think I’d ever had before. We practically ran down the aisle and danced our way to our bridal party for photos. The group shots were easy to capture, we just couldn’t keep our hands off our friends and family.

We gathered in the warm tent for food and dancing. Drinks flowed freely and the dancing was loose. I’m easily one of the most cynical people I know, but as I’m describing my wedding, the usual snark that flows freely through my fingertips feels stagnant. My worries that day were futile. Everything fell into place and I was forced to appreciate the gorgeous group of family and friends, chosen and by blood, that we came from. So thank you.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the beautiful celebration, for planning and funding, but also for saving the day multiple times.

Thanks Lily and Anna for being the best cheerleaders a sister could ask for. Your overflowing emotions throughout the day grounded my own feelings.

4.jpg

Thanks Sarah, Emmie, Mallory, Abby, Mazie, Criston, MK. You will never know the impact you have on my life. I literally could not have made it down that aisle without you.

3.jpg

Daniel, thank you for bringing me and Colby together. You actually are the man.

Sarah H thank you for loving us so hard it hurts sometimes. We are lucky to know you and be supported by your humongous heart.

To my family and his. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. I am who I am because of my huge, wacky group of aunts, uncles, cousins, and outlaws. Cheers. And to Colby’s family, I never knew I could love another group as much as my own.

And to the incredibly fun, supportive, change-making group of friends we call ours; you made my wild dance party dreams come true. Thanks for finishing off all the bourbon and indulging me in my after after party dreams at a slimy Huntsville bar.

5.jpg

Reliving this day was magical. Thank you David McCaw for the lovely video and W&E Photographie for the photos

lookin' cute, feelin' sad

E377249B-C45C-4CDF-A0DA-8960CEF64FB4.JPG

In my Spring clean last March I threw out much of my holiday decor. It took up too much space and was too kitschy, not the sophisticated minimal look I wanted for my space. I did the same for my mind, burying all of the messy winter emotions that lingered into the new season. I added a new medication to my daily routine and threw out the things that reminded me of the sad me. The messy decorations, the clothes that didn’t fit, the rug that I never could get clean. But I was left with about 10 ornaments for my Christmas tree, a strand of white lights, and a snowglobe. My Christmas tree is leaning and is dying already. The few ornaments make it sad and unkempt and I have pine needles all over my floor.

All of this has nothing to do with why my brain is sick, but it does somehow personify my feelings. I can’t help but think my sad tree is a metaphor for where I’m at right now. Trying really hard, but slowly falling apart.

There’s nothing wrong with me. At least there shouldn’t be

I just got married to my best friend and love of my life. We spent seven whole days wrapped in each others happiness, eating until our hearts content, drinking until our words became songs, and planning our futures together. It’s my favorite time of year. I just got in my Black Friday orders in for God’s sake. But I’m stuck inside my head and some days it’s impossible to get out.

Christmastime has long been my favorite holiday. I decorate like crazy and I’ve been listening to holiday music every morning as I get ready. But these days Christmas time also comes with a heavy blanket of deep sadness. It’s those damn short days. I swear I only see the sun for about 30 minutes. It’s long periods of time spent in my small (large my NY standards!) apartment. But it’s mostly just my brain. I keep having to remind myself. I could be anywhere and my brain would still sometimes get sick.

Yesterday was bad. I let my brain spiral into a messy black hole, shielding myself from rational thought, and refusing to shower off tears and snot from the night before. I shut out everyone in my life who attempted to reach out, even my own husband. I shut out and shut down and was convinced I would be like that forever. I thought about how I wasn’t good enough for my job, how I wasn’t a good friend, I wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t loved. I know none of that is either true or really important, but it was dark and scary and at the time the only tunnel of thought that existed inside me.

Last night my partner reminded me to be brave and vulnerable and let people in. So here I am trying to be brave. Who knew six years ago my fashion diary would turn into a healing space of sorts. I hope this reminds someone that they are not alone and that it does and will get better.

I don’t really have a solution to all this. I took my emergency meds and Colby convinced me to go see I movie I have been looking forward to. It took my mind out of the hole, but I’m constantly terrified it will happen again. So today I woke up early enough to make coffee before work and dressed in my favorite outfit (pictured below). I don’t have any profound words of encouragement other than.. Hi I’m here and sometimes having a sick brain is really hard. I’m being brave and having the entire internet hold me accountable. (lol so going to regret this) So take your meds folks, go outside, and wear your favorite outfit. It won’t last forever.

[jeans-levis, blazer-zara, turtleneck- madewell, hat- target, boots - uo]


 

things I would buy if I didn't have to pay rent

New York is great for a lot of things and terrible for others. Soho is great and terrible. Great because walking through it makes you feel like a fancy Parisian socialite and terrible because I'm not a fancy Parisian socialite and can't afford the associated wares.

 Last Friday I waltzed around side streets, pranced into boutiques and demanded things I couldn't afford in a size smaller than I actually needed. I know I couldn't afford anything inside these precious facades of capitalistic designs, but nevertheless I fell for the siren songs of stores I couldn't afford. 

I tried on everything I'd ever wanted to see on my body, but was too afraid to confront the intimidatingly put-together shop girls. I asked for the $500 leather skirt and matching biker jacket and "put it on hold" for when my husband got off work. My alter ego is apparently entirely dependent on her husband's wallet and opinions. It just sounded like something a girl would say who wasn't going to purchase the piece right then. But it was a fun Me Day. I nibbled on croissants and sipped hot tea and bought myself a couple of cursory presents (Aesop hand lotion, a few new books, and a pin for my leather jacket) that would take my mind off all the decadent pieces I tried on. 

So here's a list of the things I tried on and would have bought had I not had to pay my rent. Click for links.

perfume and puppy love: my journey to find a signature scent

A specific scent can take you back to a frozen moment in time. My mom's perfume instantly takes me to my childhood bedroom late at night. I remember her coming to tuck me in after she paid the babysitter after a night out with my dad. I'd be too sleepy to respond to her "I love you. Sleep tights," but was comforted by the scent of lingering perfume, lipstick and light beer still stuck to the corner of her lips. It was the smell of a grown up, the smell of places I wasn't allowed into, but it was the smell of warmth and sleep.

The first perfume I ever wore was a sample of Clinique's Happy stolen from my mom's makeup bag. I was in the library in the 7th grade when I discovered the power a scent held. After a lesson on the Dewey Decimal system, the librarian had the class lined up to leave. The cutest, most popular 7th grade boy was standing behind me joking with his equally as intimidating friends. I was minding my own business, probably re-buckling my twisted overall straps, when he told me he liked the way I smelled.

My stomach dropped to my knees, and my face felt like it was on fire. I sputtered a quick "thanks," and spun back around. I buried my face behind my trapper keeper, hiding an embarrassingly huge smile. In that moment I discovered the feeling a compliment from the opposite sex could muster from my previously unassuming heart; and unfortunately have been chasing it ever since. Damn you Blake Stephenson.

The first perfume I bought was a bottle of Ralph Lauren Hot in the 8th grade. My best friends and I all had a bottle. We would take turns dousing each other in the potent boy-luring liquid before dances and games of truth or dare disguised as friendly neighborhood capture the flag. The man-bait hooked a first kiss for each of my companions, but left me stinking with rabid sexual frustration.

In the 10th grade I asked for a bottle of Calvin Klein Euphoria for Christmas, inspired by Natalia Vodianova writhing between purple chiffon curtains in the TV commercial. I was sure I needed a signature scent to identify myself at my new high school as the edgy public school dropout. I attribute this scent to the wrangling of my first boyfriend. That and the extra hem my mom put in my skirt after I pitched a fit over the shapeless uniforms I'd be forced to wear. We made it a couple of years before coming to the conclusion that perfume and sweaty high school love could not carry a high school relationship into college. He texted me long after the dust had settled to tell me he thinks of me whenever a girl wearing the perfume breezes past. Success.

I wore Euphoria until the bitter end of my first college relationship Freshman year. I pretty much destroyed everything that either reminded me of him or he liked about me... including my long hair. I made a hard switch from preppy boys of old, to insightful introverts (one of whom I'm marrying next month.) In my search for the perfect edgy artist man, I bought a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent "Opium." I wanted to give off a completely different vibe, one that exuded maturity, mystery and apparently the '80s as I'm sure no one has worn that seriously since then.

Opium carried me through a few relationships and flings, but did not garner the attention I was hoping for. My senior year my mom bought me her signature scent of more than a decade, Angel, by Thierry Mugler. It smelled like my mom, but it also smelled like confidence and blended well with my skin. I don't think I owe Angel credit for the current man I managed to scoop up, but I did wear it on our first date.

The last bottle of perfume I've bought was Derek Crosby's Blackout. It smells like spices and chai tea and reminds me of the perfectly curated home store boutiques in my neighborhood. I bought it before my trip to France because I wanted to have a scent associated with my first big trip out of the country. I'm glad I did, because it will now always remind me of my perfect engagement and stumbling down Paris streets drunk on Rose and puppy love.

Today I keep a bottle of Euphoria for nostalgic purposes, but it doesn't smell the same on my skin anymore. I'm pretty sure it created a literal love potion in combination with my teen hormones and it won't ever smell the same. I also keep the bottle of Opium for the winter months, as the spicy musk warms up even the most bitter snowy days. I keep a couple of roller-balls I've tried when I want to switch things up, but I usually rotate between Blackout and Angel. 

I hope none of my exes read my blog, but if they do I apologize for the subtle shoutout and I selfishly hope my signature scents still make you double take. 

fall mood board

image1 (2).JPG

photos clockwise: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

This fall is going to be one for the books. The next few months are jam packed with last minute wedding planning and new work schedules, but I plan on making time for Halloween traditions, reading, writing and painting. I've been itching to get back into a creative routine. Suffice to say I have lots to look forward to. I just want to be able to take it slow and soak it up. I have a feeling it will be one to remember.

Reading: Priestdaddy
Looking forward to: getting married (!)
Excited to: go on a twilight walk through Greenwood Cemetery on my birthday.
Eating: no sodas or alcohol, but lots of baked goods. I really want to try this fig and rosemary upside down cake.

blog inspo courtesy of my best gal Sarah over at StayWarm.
 

fake it 'til you make it

abbey crain

I'm a model.
I'm a writer.
I'm an artist.
I'm happy.
I'm good. 

I honestly have no clue what I'm doing. Five years ago this month I started this blog with a closet full of Forever21 clothes waiting to be styled and a few friends who wanted to practice their photography. I didn't think I was pretty enough to be a fashion blogger. And I don't think my life is exciting enough to be a lifestyle blogger. But somewhere along the way I kept going; and kept posing; and kept writing. 

 

This fake it 'til you make it attitude has pushed me in promising directions over the last half decade. When i started blogging I told my self I was pretty enough to be seen, to be put on display, vulnerable. I still have a hard time feeling confident enough to post that Instagram, that blog post, but I do so I am. I am a model.

My job is to write and I write in my free time, for fun even. But I still have a hard time calling myself a writer. I don't know if that's the stifled southern woman in me, never wanting to give myself credit where the credit is truly do, or if I just don't feel like what I imagine the great Beat writers feel like. We aren't that different after all. Here I am sipping black coffee in a small shop typing away. The only difference is the manner in which our fingers move, pen to paper and fingers to computer keys. I am a writer. 

I was an art minor in college and continue to practice the arts in plethora of ways. I've designed my apartment decor just so. I paint. I garden. Yet I feel almost queasy calling myself an artist. But I am one, you know. I am an artist.

I've become more myself over the last few years, owning the fact that my moods are not moods and something that I often can't control. I get stuck and I get down. And when I'm down the only way I can get up is to pretend. To say I am worthy, worth happiness, worthwhile. I say I am happy and good and I am. I am happy and good. 

I say that I am and I am. I am a strong, artist, model, writer, a good person. I am happy. I am. 

Side story: My friend Sarah was taking photos for my blog in Nashville and a handsome man confronted us with his big official-looking camera. He was photographing a model for a local magazine. He asked us what we were doing. "Blogging," I replied confidently. He patronizingly asked what kind of blog I ran and questioned what I was wearing. Sarah continued to photograph me while he asked more about me. Without skipping a beat I told him I was a lifestyle blogger in Brooklyn and worked for the Wall Street Journal. I know I didn't look like the conventional bubbly blogger in my shapeless overalls and medium frame. But I told him WHO I was and he eventually backed off.