Addressing Mail to Married Couples with Different Last Names

It’s 2014, people! More and more women are opting to stick with their given names, and traditional etiquette seems to be struggling to catch up.

Here are some quick tips to help you address correspondence to married couples with different last names.

599140_10101111085807049_215100302_nI am incredibly lucky to be married to a strong, confident man who is not bothered by my decision to continue to use my name after marriage. I thought HE would be the hardest one to win over- but it seems that it is the holiday card senders, the thank-you card writers and the party planners who are causing me the most grief.

Us married ladies aren’t always comfortable receiving a letter only to see our role in the marriage reduced to a “Mrs” tacked onto our husbands’ full name. We are contributors here, people! We want to see our names lovingly handwritten on a crisp white envelope, too!

Here is a quick breakdown on how to address mail to a married couple with different last names.

1. Don’t assume a recently married woman has changed her last name. If you can’t find out definitively through Facebook or a close family member, I would recommend going with a playful first-name-only “Matt & Kacey” until you confirm. Or, even better- just ask her which she prefers.

2. The title “Mrs.” is reserved for married women who take their husband’s name. Stick with “Ms.” unless you know she prefers “Mrs.”- some do! I personally don’t mind either way, but “Ms.” is technically correct.

3. If the married couple has two different last names, here is how to address your correspondence:

Mr. Matthew Stillswaggin & Ms. Kacey Mullaney
1234 Forward Thinking Lane
Raleigh, NC 12345

If the names are too long and it’s looking sloppy, putting the names on two lines is acceptable.

Mr. Matthew Stillswaggin
Ms. Kacey Mullaney
1234 Forward Thinking Lane
Raleigh, NC 12345

4. Don’t forget that addressing your envelope correctly doesn’t get you off the hook- if you’re hosting an event, make sure your escort cards, seating charts, programs, favors, etc. also reflect the woman’s chosen name.

Happy addressing!

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Rat Kings, Trick-or-Treaters, Cockroaches That Can’t Die: Our New House

We have officially relocated to downtown Orlando. One interesting fact about the new house is that our landlord’s brother is living in the carriage house in our backyard. We knew this before signing the lease; while touring the house for the first time, Ivan ambled over to where we were chatting and launched into conversation about the neighborhood “rat king” that lives on the property and is known to lead other rats to the stream across the street. He informed us that the rats are not scared of people and will just stare into your car headlights should you encounter one while pulling into the driveway.

Yesterday was Halloween. Since we just moved in, the front porch looks like a junkyard and I was embarrassed to see the looks on parents’ faces as they made their way up the driveway and saw with horror the piles of boxes and newspaper and propane tanks and assorted furniture and stuffed animals. They would have their children turn around and ask them to watch out for hypodermic needles and mutant cockroaches as they left. So I left the porch light off and didn’t buy any candy. This did not stop the hoard of 15 or so dedicated teenagers who hiked up the driveway and began screaming “trick or treat” into my living room windows. After a few minutes, I poked my head out the front door and told them that I had no candy, hence the darkened porch, and by the looks of them, they were too old to be out begging for treats anyway. They all started booing and yelling things like “I’m eleven!” in deep voices. I started to feel really old chastising high school students for bothering me while I watched “Say Yes to the Dress” re-runs on Halloween night, so I offered them the only thing I could think of, which was the half-eaten can of Pringles that I was eating. The kids immediately held out their hands and crowded around my screen door, and I carefully dumped Pringles pieces into their open palms, and they went on their way. It was bizarre.

So today I wanted to heat up a piece of leftover pizza so I unpacked the microwave from its box and plugged it in. The story with the microwave is this (yes, there is a story associated with our microwave): almost two years ago when Matt lived in Satellite Beach, he owned the microwave. He stopped using the microwave when on two separate occasions, he opened the door to place something inside, only to see a flurry of cockroaches scatter from the center plate into the walls of the microwave. They were basically living inside of it. So instead of throwing it out, he sealed it up in a box and there it sat, first in his garage, then in our garage when we moved together to a house in Melbourne with a built-in microwave, for a total of two years.

So my reasoning was that two years in a sealed box would have taken care of the cockroach problem, and no toxic chemicals or violent insect murder involved! Perfect. I stuck the pizza inside and hit the start button. I think we all know where this is heading, but what should I see crawling slowly up the wall behind the microwave after only a few seconds of cooking, but a giant, ugly, slightly dazed-looking roach. I am not  proud of the following minutes where I tried and failed to catch it under a glass, and then corner it on the counter and try to drown it with furniture polish followed by OxyClean stain remover, and then watch helplessly as it proved unaffected by cleaning products and disappeared under the dishwasher. I should have known that a roach who can survive two years without food or water in a sealed box would be immortal. I guess the bright side is that I can still say there has been no violent insect murder, only attempted.

Thanks for coming along on my adventures in our new home! I’m sure there are more to come.

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Drinking Jenga

I love board games. And wine. And I love when they go together.

A friend recently brought her favorite board game to a party at our home- I was not immediately thrilled when I saw it was Jenga. However, once the tower was assembled and the first tile carefully removed, we discovered that rules and tasks and challenges were written on the underside of each wooden block, and so began the most fun I have ever had with the game of Jenga.

Of course I promptly bought my own Jenga game on my Amazon iPhone app (something that seems to get the most use between the hours of 9pm and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays) and set to work designing my own version of Drinking Jenga. I quickly realized that coming up with 56 unique and clever crowd-pleasing drinking rules was much easier said than done. I turned, of course, to Google, but even extensive internet research came up short. So I have decided to post my Drinking Jenga rules for the next poor soul who types “Drinking Jenga” into a search engine. You’re welcome, and cheers.

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The Time I Was Bitten by a Police Horse on St. Patrick’s Day.

When I took that first sip of green beer on Saint Patrick’s Day, I did not expect that my night would end with my right hand being crushed between the teeth of a very large police horse. However, such is life.

We streamed out of the bar in downtown Orlando at 2 in the morning, basically swept out the front doors with the empty jello shot cups and beer bottles and lost earrings (mine among them) by the barbacks. It was a beautiful night so Matt and I decided to walk the mile back to our hotel, stopping at not one- not two- but three separate street food vendors on the way (one hotdog, one Italian sausage with peppers and onions, and a slice of pizza, thankyouverymuch). Halfway to the hotel, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to close my bar tab, so back we went, and I waited outside the closed bar with four other girls while the employees retrieved our ATM cards.

It was during our second trek back to the hotel that I encountered the police horse.

I politely asked the mounted officer if I could approach and pet his vehicle; he stared at me with the glazed expression of a man who was sitting on a horse at three in the morning while thousands of publicly drunk people swarmed around him yelling about stepping in horse crap.

After several other intoxicated people shouldered past me and roughly stroked the horse without asking and without being arrested or kicked in the face, I made my move. I tiptoed closer with my palms open, allowing him to sniff liberally because the smell of your hands will, of course, make a horse instantly trust and love you.

Well, the horse sniffed my hand and then tried to eat it.

He took my entire right thumb in his huge mouth and bit down, then started backing up with my hand still firmly mid-chew.

“He’s biting me,” I said faux-calmly to the officer, hoping he had some kind of Off button or “Cease Attack” command like they do with German Shepherds, but alas. I finally wiggled free and stood there shocked and (more emotionally than physically) wounded, probably staring up at the man with piteous, heartbroken puppy eyes, like, I just love animals and yours is really big and tried to hurt me.

“Sorry,” he said gruffly. “He thought you had a treat.”

I walked back to Matt, who was watching the entire episode from a safe distance on the sidewalk. “Horses have flat teeth because they’re herbivores,” he said. He may not fight a horse off of me, but he’s like a little Encyclopedia, which is just as useful.

The next day I had no recollection of the event because it was so bizarre and surreal- if I hadn’t noticed the bruise, I probably would have believed that I dreamed it. I finally did notice the bruise, the perfect square of a blunt horse tooth on my thumb, and it came back in a flash. I went out for St. Patrick’s Day and got bitten by a police horse.

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The conversation I have with my dog at least 300 times a day

Note: Moe’s reaction is NOT dependent on whether the sliding glass door is actually open, and we have several high-impact nose prints on the door to prove it.

Intimidated by my Paint skillz? Don’t be.

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The Nanny Nightmares

I could write my own version  of the “Nanny Diaries” without breaking a sweat or exaggerating a single experience, so I think I will, right here, right now, for my new little blog. Buckle in.

I started nannying when I was in high school. My first real job was for a family in North Raleigh with two boys and one girl ages 12, 9 and 5. I will never forget first entering the big, open home and quietly following Mrs. S while she strode from the kitchen to the laundry room through the living room to the bedroom, calling out instructions while simultaneously dressing for her tennis lesson “at the club.”

I shadowed her through the bedroom, half-listening as she recited the many times and locations when and where her children would need pickup and delivery. The bed was strewn with dog-eared self-help books with titles like “Controlling Your Uncontrollable Child” and “Teenage Killers: Early Signs From Childhood.” (Okay, maybe that last one was an exaggeration.)

The kids were shut up in their rooms, and Mrs. S used a wall intercom to address the entire residence. “Shelbyyyy!”

A hairy shitzu came pounding down the stairs and slid to a stop at his master’s feet. “He eats once in the morning and once in the evenings. His meals come in fresh, pre-prepared tins. He doesn’t like to eat the same flavor twice in a row. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, let cool for 30 seconds, then serve with a wooden spoon into his food dish. Be sure not to mix up his food dish with his water dish. We don’t allow him to drink tap, so please keep his bowl filled with spring water from the bottles in the garage.”

She made to exit for her lesson, prompting me to ask, “…What do the kids eat?”

Her over-the-shoulder response, verbatim, was “just heat them up some chicken nuggets from the freezer.”

I worked for this family for a year.  On more than one occasion I was threatened with a kitchen knife by the nine-year-old after asking him to shut down the computer, and whenever any of the children were asked to do something unreasonable like go to bed or stop punching their brother, they would lunge for the phone and call their father to complain about my tyranny, regardless of whether he was out golfing with business partners or at a black-tie affair downtown two hours past their bedtime.

I took another nannying position in North Hills during college for two teenage girls who were old enough to look out for themselves, but not old enough to drive themselves to the mall, so that’s where I came in. The girls’ parents were both divorced and remarried, so we would spend one week at mom and stepdad’s, then the next week at dad’s and stepmom’s.

I enjoyed working with Mom, though her new husband was a little prickly and collected rugs. Dad and Wendy were a different story. Wendy (Cyberbullies: Wendy Joyner of North Raleigh) once asked me to stay overnight with the girls at their home for three days and two nights while she and Mr. J traveled. Once they returned, she handed me $100 and shooed me away when I shyly reminded her that I had worked from 6am-8am every morning and 3-10pm every evening for three days- her payment made me worth $3.50 an hour, using my own gas money, not counting time spent sleeping or sitting in carpool traffic.

That gig ended when Wendy and Mr. Joyner called me into the sunroom after nannying one day.

“We know what’s been going on,” Mr. J said gravely. I suddenly got nervous; the two girls were having issues adjusting to Wendy’s presence in their life, and they had decided to write her a letter expressing their feelings toward her. Instead of stopping the letter, I helped them edit it and change phrases like “I absolutely hate you” to more constructive criticism like “I dislike certain qualities you possess.” I worried that the parents had caught wind of the letter and blamed me for stirring up a mutiny.

I politely asked that they be more specific as to what exactly they knew was going on. Wendy looked awkwardly over at her husband and stammered, “We know that things are disappearing from the house.”

Now I felt REALLY bad. I would spend time at their home from the moment I finished class until dinner- sometimes I got hungry and would grab Goldfish and cookies from the pantry while the girls were doing homework. I quickly apologized- “Do you mean food? I’m really sorry, I didn’t think it was a big deal- I can bring my own snacks from now on.”

Wendy looked shocked. Frustrated, she looked again to her husband for support. “Please don’t make this difficult. I’m not talking about food. We are missing items from our home and we know that you are the one taking them.”

Clueless, I asked, “What items?”

“Paintings. Silver serving platters. Valuable antique porcelain animals.”

At this point I breathed a sigh of relief. Of course I wasn’t stealing paintings and silver from these people and I quickly explained as much, smiling and ready to forgive the accusation as a harmless mistake.

But of course they wouldn’t have it. “We have photos of you stealing them. Just admit that you’re taking them. You have until tomorrow to return everything or we will get the police and your parents involved.”

At this point I think it’s pertinent to mention that this house was in the middle of a major remodeling project both inside and out. I had been sharing the space with (and hiding the girls from) countless contractors, construction workers, plumbers, electricians and interior decorators for weeks. And yet, it was me, 19-year-old conservative babysitter Kacey, they fingered for the crime.

“You have photos of me stealing these things?”
“Yes.”
“No, you don’t. I know because I haven’t stolen anything from you.”
Flustered stammering. “Well,  we have photos of the items where they belong, and then the next day they’re gone, and you were here during that time, and the maid said it wasn’t her- we know you’re a broke college student- just stop playing games and admit it or we’re calling the police!”

Long story short, I called the girls’ mother and quit, offering to watch the girls for one more week at her home. When I picked  them up on Monday, a dark cloud hung in the car as I fumed at the very sight of them and basically bit their heads off when they tried to ask what was wrong. “You know what’s wrong,” I snapped. “Your dad and Wendy accused me of stealing things from your house. And now I’m quitting and you won’t see me again after this week. Do you think I would do something like that? Is that the kind of character I have?” “No,” they said in tiny robot voices. The younger one piped up, “Wendy talked about it all weekend, at restaurants, to anyone who would listen,” which made me angrier.

Wendy called me the day after the accusation to inquire if I was ready to confess, to which I replied with something very calm and clever like, “Go ahead and call the police! They will clear my name! You owe me a big apology!”

I never did find out if they caught the real thief, and it bothers me to think that they might still believe it was me. The police never showed at my door and I never heard from the family again, though I lived in fear for months that I would be slapped with a court order at any moment. I fantasized about suing them for slander and about God punishing Wendy for her unfounded accusation when she arrived in Heaven (I couldn’t bring myself to imagine her burning in Hell, just an extremely disappointed head-shake from Jesus as she passed through the gates). I’ve thought about messaging one of the girls on Facebook to see if they ever caught the person but I’ve decided against it on a hundred separate occasions. Wendy is the one person on Earth who I dread/dream about bumping into at the grocery store. I’ll have something witty and biting to say that will make her regret accusing blonde, innocent, teenage Kacey of stealing her tacky “Southern chic” paintings and creepy animal statuettes.

Needless to say, that put an end to my babysitting days for good. I actually got a call about a nannying job a few weeks later, and I dramatically declined citing “bad experiences in my past.”

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My Haunted House: The Aftermath (AKA: The MLB Player Next Door)

Well, we’ve discovered the source of our ghostly noises. It was just the major league baseball player who moved in next door.

Matt met him and his young son when they moved in a few weeks ago, barging into their garage with his classic “Welcome to the neighborhood!” and too-hard handshake. Our new neighbor explained that he was sub-letting the townhouse for a six week project in the area and left it at that.

Today, doing my normal post-work unwinding routine (laying braless on the couch with my pants unzipped and something stupid on TV), the doorbell rang and I ignored it. I figured it was the UPS man. I realized it was not, in fact, the UPS man when the doorbell ringer came around to the back of the house and knocked on my slightly open sliding glass door and peered in at me.

I jumped up off the couch and zipped up my pants and opened the door. It was a kinda cute guy with his 9 year old daughter asking to borrow our grill. He apologized for waking me up (it was 5:30 in the evening, my hair and makeup just looked post-nap, embarrassing) and we did some small talk while he and his friend moved the grill over to his patio. Humiliatingly, the front doors of the metal grill were apparently rusted through and proceeded to clatter loudly to the ground while we all pretended that was supposed to happen.

Neighbor guy introduced himself as Adam and we chatted while our kids played fetch in the backyard. Moe wandered off into a wooded, unpopulated part of our developing neighborhood and relieved his bowels. I guiltily confessed that I usually didn’t pick up after him when he went that far into the woods; Adam laughed and said he wouldn’t either. His daughter jumped in and told me about her dog that was run over and killed by a tractor.

I noticed that she was wearing a red Washington Nationals foam finger so I asked her dad if they had just returned from the spring training game that we could see wrapping up at the stadium across the way. He noncommitally muttered something about his wife and kids attending the games. “This is a really great spot,” I said, gesturing to the stadium. “You can walk right over there to the spring training games or the Manatees baseball games in the summer. I don’t know much about baseball but if you’re here for the Manatees season, it’s really fun. They have hotdogs for a dollar on Thursday nights.” He thanked me for the tip and we parted ways.

Back inside, I started to put two and two together. He’s here for six weeks… living temporarily right behind the baseball stadium… during spring training season… and he doesn’t watch the games in the stands with his wife and kids. I texted Matt with my suspicions, and my creepy sports-head husband was able to find the only Adam on the Washington Nationals roster within seconds. He sent me a photo, and it was definitely him.

“I just recommended to a multi-million-dollar major league baseball player that he go watch the Class-A minor league Manatees play this summer,” I moaned. I had also talked about dog poop with him. Matt was horrified and demanded that I apologize when Adam returned the grill. I won’t, because that would mean confessing that we had Googled him and that I now knew everything about his personal life and career since the last time I saw him.

So it appears that the bumps and garage door noises that I once attributed to ghosts can now be explained by our new neighbor and his two wild kids, and the smoke detector escapade could have been triggered by the hardcore two-way radio system installed in their vehicle.

The Range Rovers, Mercedes and Escalades parked in front of our house right now can be explained by the baseball party our new neighbor is throwing for his MLB colleagues.

Just a day in the life over here.

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Favorite Days, Part 3

The last installation of Kacey’s Happiest Days Ever is here! I know my vast readership has been waiting on pins and needles to hear all about the third favoritest day of my life thus far. Well, wait no more. Because it’s happening now.

3. The day after Christmas 2011

Matt and I landed in Orlando on Christmas Eve after a week-long belated honeymoon to Jamaica. My entire immediately family, dog included, drove from Raleigh to Viera to see us on Christmas Day. My mom and sister were sending me photos of everyone in various stages of nap for the entire trip. Matt and I cooked a surprise Christmas dinner after driving around for an hour trying to find an open grocery store and we suspect that my family was secretly disappointed that the meal was homecooked and not actually the takeout Chinese we had promised as a cover.

I took the 26th off from work and we decided to go to Universal Studios. Packed in the back seat of the car together, my siblings and I regressed to the hyper single-digits versions of ourselves when my parents would load us into the car for our yearly pilgrimage from Wisconsin to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, telling us we were only “9 Barney shows” away from our next stop and threateningly holding my stuffed llama out the car window when I  refused to let go of my sister’s hair.

We pulled up to the grand “Welcome to Universal Studios” sign and waited in a line for a parking pass. “Welcome to Universal Studios,” I read to Jordan. “Welcome,” she said to Kevin. “Welcome!!!” we all screamed to each other, rolling down the windows and welcoming everyone in the cars around us. Matt could only watch in horror as the full weight of what he married into settled around him.

We headed into the park, reminiscing about the last time we were all there together years ago.  We made a quick bathroom break and my mom loudly scolded me for not washing my hands in front of everyone waiting in line. My sisters and I sprinted down the moving sidewalks like we were bionic.

Jordan, who has been obsessed with the Harry Potter series for the better part of the last decade, had never set foot in Harry Potter World so we beelined there. We hopped on the first roller coaster we could find while my daddy waited for us at the exit. Jordan marveled at the subtle detail of the park; “Even the warning signs have spells on them! Peligro!” …it was just written in Spanish.

We waited in an endless line for the main attraction of Harry Potter World, a ride through the famous castle. Halfway through the line, Ryan, Matt and I slipped through a gap in a fence into Jurassic Park Land and bought some giant cans of Fosters beer, then crept back to where my parents held the line under hundreds of evil (jealous) glares.

After Harry Potter World, my siblings and I ditched the adults (Mom, Dad and Matt) and went on the Daredevil Drop in the dark. While waiting in line, we picked up Jordan and forcibly placed her in roped-off display areas. On the ride, we screamed for my parents as loud as we could until we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.

I love being an adult and spending time with my family. My parents’ youngest is 18; they have officially raised all four of their children into adults, and it’s a fun dynamic when we’re all together. We can tease and play and converse like six friends, and it’s a feeling that was tangible the entire day and definitely contributed to its significance as one of the best days of my life so far. It’s fun to have Matt as a real part of my family now, literally the six people I love most in the world all spending time and enjoying the little things together. We were reliving old memories of theme park days from our childhoods; making new, adult memories together with my family; and it’s nice to think that maybe we’ll have some brats of our own to bring to Disney and start the cycle over again.

I’m aware that when we start moving away from one another and start our own families that the dynamic of my family will shift once again, so I was hanging on to every second of our time together to remember for the future.

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Favorite Days, Part 2

2. The night before the wedding and the morning of the wedding

I actually never got to journal about this in T2R because the following weeks were such a whirlwind and I barely managed to jot down important notes about the wedding itself, but the night before our wedding and the morning of our wedding were such good moments that they have stayed colorful in my mind even seven months later. Which is pretty damn good for me.

Our rehearsal dinner was held at Girasole Trattoria in Wake Forest, NC. It was beautiful and rustic, perfect weather on the covered patio and wildflowers on the butcherblock tables. Sweet, spontaneous toasts from friends and family from both sides who we hadn’t seen in months. I had both of my grandmas in the same room, as well as both of Matt’s parents, for the first time in years. Our mothers put together a slideshow of baby pictures and embarrassing early-courtship photos from before I knew how to shape my eyebrows. Matt got choked up when thanking his brother for being his best man. I felt pretty. The owner of the restaurant explained that the noises from within the fireplace chimney were just bats.

  
  

Once everyone else had cleared out, I sat at a table with Matt, Andrew, and my future mother-in-law Chris to finish the carafes of wine we had “already paid for” and debriefed the night. We laughed about the scene my bridesmaids made with their slightly awkward group toast that centered around the Backstreet Boys and Caroline’s birthday and was tied up with a sudden “Here’s to forever!” Chris packed up her vases and flowers from the tables and accidentally grabbed a few wine carafes that had been left out.

Matt and I secretly checked into a Wake Forest hotel against my mother’s wishes. Screw tradition- who better to fall asleep and wake up with on the day of your wedding than your best friend? He read me handwritten the toast he had meant to give to me at the rehearsal dinner but was cut short. I stole it off the nightstand in the morning and kept it with me. Early the next day we drove back to my parents’ house so I could start getting ready and Matt could play golf. My mom gave me an evil eye when we both walked in the door but she hugged Matt and then shooed him out “before anyone else saw.”

I sat in the kitchen with Mom and my aunt Janice chatting and reminiscing over coffee while Aunt Maria steamed and ironed my dress and veil in the living room. The veil was a cheap $15 thing we picked up at Michael’s at the last minute; Maria, a dressmaker, steamed and hemmed it into perfection. Before I knew it, my sisters were driving me to the hair salon where my closest girlfriends were waiting with champagne and bagels and we laughed and cried and drank and got pretty.

  

The rest of the day, while probably still in my Top 10 Happiest Days, was such a nervous blur that it can’t compare to the previous night or morning.

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Favorite Days, Part 1

I have had many, many happy days in my life, but there are a few that stand out above the others, ones that I might go as far as to classify as The Best Days of My Life.

1. The day after our wedding

The day after our wedding was probably the happiest, best day of my life so far. We woke up in Raleigh, packed up all of our things and jumped on an early morning shuttle to the airport. The driver mentioned that there must have been some party somewhere last night because he had been shuttling an unusually large amount of hungover people in formal wear to the airport since the early hours of the morning, including one guy who climbed aboard at 4AM and curled up into a hammered ball on the floor of the bus for the entire ride. We proudly claimed said party, and Rob Damitz who had an early flight to Colorado.

We landed in Orlando late morning and arrived at the fancy Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel, where they served us champagne and dutifully admired my rings while checking us in. We rode the glass elevator up to our room with an amazing view of the resort-style pools, the Epcot ball and Cinderella’s castle, then proceeded to take a much-needed nap while Shark Week played on the flatscreen in the background. We kept our phones off since the flight.

When we woke up, we decided to walk to the first restaurant we could find. The hotel was set back from I-Drive and we wandered down the endless driveway passing woods and ponds full of swans until we arrived at Orlando Alehouse. We slid into a booth, bursting to tell anyone who walked within 5 feet that we had just gotten married yesterday, feeling like everyone we passed could tell we were newlyweds. We ordered the classiest bucket of Coors Light on the menu and finally turned our phones on to flip through the photos of our wedding that friends were uploading. We called my parents and gushed for half an hour about how perfect everything was. The manager brought us a free dessert.

We headed back to the hotel and ordered a bottle of champagne up to the room, which we drank on the balcony while the fireworks shows went off at the Disney parks on the horizon.

The next day we had to attend Matt’s White Coat Ceremony at UCF College of Medicine with both of his parents and his younger brother, but it ended up being a fun day despite the whole in-laws-on-your-honeymoon part. They came bearing the wedding guestbook and cards from our guests, which we spread out on our hotel bed and went through line by line.

I have two other Favorite Days (the night before/morning of our wedding, and a day with family around the holidays) but this post got long so let’s wrapitup.

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