Entries tagged with “marrying an Irish man”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Fri 27 Sep 2013
Someone recently asked me how I have found the first year of marriage. When this question is posed to newlyweds, I think the answer varies wildly depending on who you ask; some will speak of an extended honeymoon that just seems to keep on going while others will express surprise at how it wasn’t what he/she expected it to be (this could be good or bad, depending on the cause(s) of the surprise. Of course there are a million other answers in between.
For me, the first year of marriage to Mountaineering Man has continued to solidify the bond that was initiated on our first date just over three years ago. I’ve always wanted a partner in life, someone who truly accepts me – wobbly bits and all – and who shares similar values but also inspires new perspective and change. Someone I feel secure with; a person who can stand his ground but also considers there’s a different way to look at something.
Our first year hasn’t been easy; as you read in my previous post, his mother is unwell and we’ve spent a number of weekends staying with his family who live two hours away. We’re always rushing to get basic chores done like cleaning the house (which we get to every few weeks these days!) and the worry of the situation has led to many sleepless nights – insomnia is rampant in our house lately! Some days we’re like two grumpy toddlers who desperately need a nap, but instead of throwing ourselves on the ground in a heap of tears we’ll snap at each other and slam a few doors to make a point (ahem, that would be more me than MM, I must admit).
Sun 14 Oct 2012
Despite a forecast of thundershowers and a few looming clouds the night before, we awoke to blue skies and sunshine on our wedding day. I walked up (and up and up – it was long hike!) the grassy aisle with my father and married Mountaineering Man in front of a small group of family and friends in Tuscany.
The predicted rain and the long walk are good metaphors for my journey here; when I moved to Ireland two-and-a-half years ago, I did so out of a desperate need for change. Though on the surface my life in Los Angeles seemed great, inside I was unhappy and my future seemed clouded and uncertain; I felt if I didn’t make a big change, there’d be little hope for sunny skies in my future. It wasn’t just about meeting someone, it was about feeling fulfilled and challenging myself to try something new, something different.
It wasn’t easy, but I took a leap of faith arrived in Drogheda in March 2010. In September of the same year, I met MM. After a few dates, I think we both knew this was something significant, and a few months later we realised that this was it – for both of us. We got engaged in February of this year and we started planning almost immediately.
We knew we wanted something small and in Italy; I’ve always loved the country and MM has always wanted to visit, plus it was close enough for our Irish guests and appealing to our American guests, all of whom decided to make a proper holiday out of the trip. What better place to holiday than Tuscany, the region of wine and food and beautiful, rolling green hills?
Wed 10 Oct 2012
It’s been a little over a week-and-a-half since our wedding, but the planning for the big day and surrounding events have been in the works since our engagement in February. Looking back, 7 months isn’t really that long to plan a wedding in Italy. But when it comes to organising, Mountaineering Man and I are both total planning nerds!
We also chose to have a much smaller wedding than the norm, with only 28 guests, which helped. And on Thursday, the 27th of September, we all arrived to the Villa Vistarenni in Tuscany (via a private coach from Bologna airport; we didn’t realise under after booking our venue that there are no direct flights from Dublin to Florence, the closest airport to Tuscany!). The villa has enough rooms to accommodate all our guests, and so we booked it for four days for a nice, long weekend. Considering some were travelling from the United States, we wanted to give people a real holiday – not just a wedding vacation!
Villa Vistarenni is a truly magical place with a rich history and beautifully preserved features. Built in the 17th century, it was owned by the family of Prince Feridnando Strozzi originally, and then by the family of Baron Giorgio Sonnino. It is now owned by a woman named Elisabetta, who rents it out for weddings and other events, and runs it as a B&B when the Villa is not being rented out by one party. The Villa sits atop a hill, from which you can see the tiny village of Radda. Villa Vistarenni produces its own wine, a beautiful and very drinkable Chianti – appropriate, considering it sits in the middle of the Chianti region.
Sun 7 Oct 2012
It’s hard to believe, but just two-and-a-half years after moving to Ireland as a single girl, I got married in a dream wedding in Tuscany to my Mountaineering Man. For those of you who started reading this blog from the early days, you’ve shared the journey with me and for that I am very grateful. It’s been such a fun, crazy, sometimes scary trip and having you along for the ride has been a wonderful source of support.
And because this is a blog about my transition to life in Ireland, I promise to post more details and photos on all our wedding festivities, which started with a welcome dinner at our rented Tuscan villa and finished with a fantastic honeymoon on the Amalfi coast.
But for now I will leave you with a photo from our special day and a reading that was chosen by MM himself and read at our ceremony by one of his best mates, Kieran. It is part of a longer reading written by the late great David Foster Wallace, and for us sums up the true meaning of marriage and partnership.
This is Water
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how’s the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"
If you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about […]
Our own present culture has […] yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.
The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" – the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death […] It is about simple awareness – awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."
Thu 27 Sep 2012
In a few hours, we’ll head off to Italy. And tomorrow afternoon, under the Tuscan sun, Mountaineering Man and I will be married.
Thanks for all the kind messages you’ve left here and emailed and Tweeted and Facebooked to us over the last few weeks, they’ve really added to our excitement over the big day. Cheers for the bottles of champagne and wine, the beautiful cards and the hugs.
I promise to post a few pics as soon as we return from our honeymoon. Until then!
Tue 18 Sep 2012
I’ll start with another apology for being MIA – it’s been a crazy few months and trying to get a blog post up once a week has been next to impossible! I promise after the wedding/honeymoon, I will be back to my regular posting schedule. Thanks for being so patient!
We’re nearly there, and tomorrow my parents land in Dublin from Los Angeles – the first guests to arrive. They’ll be here for a few days and then we’ll hop in the car with Mountaineering Man and drive to Wexford, where they’ll meet MM’s parents for the first time. We’ll do our courthouse marriage ceremony there, have dinner with MM’s family and then head on back to Dublin the next morning.
My parents have been to Ireland to visit me before, so they’ll leave ahead of us and fly to Italy for some R&R before the wedding in Tuscany next week. A day after they depart, my best friend Stacy and her husband Brian, along with my cousin Dana, arrive in Dublin.
As this will be the first visit to Ireland for all three, I’ve been trying to write an email to prepare them for what they can expect while here. As I write an entire blog on the subject of Ireland and its culture and people, it’s been difficult to craft a succinct email on the subject. There’s so much I want to say but I don’t want to give everything away; I want them to experience it with fresh eyes.
What I can say is that they can expect bipolar weather conditions, as in showers one minute and sun the next with a few other bits thrown in between. They can expect friendly folks, who will happily give them directions if they get lost, and perhaps even a tall tale or two before they get back on the road. Recently a taxi driver told me about how when he was a child, he was standing on the sunny side of the street while watching it pour down rain on the other side. Ah the Irish love their stories, and true or not they’re always told with earnest.
Sun 8 Apr 2012
Lately life seems to be moving along at a rapid pace, but then again that’s what happens when one is planning a wedding. Considering we got engaged in February and are set to be married autumn of this year, we didn’t really give ourselves a whole lot of time!
But that’s okay. We’re not having a big wedding; in fact, we’re having 32 guests total – about half from my side, half from Mountaineering Man’s side. It’ll be our immediate family members, and a few close friends. Despite the small size it will be a real wedding, not a courthouse affair but rather a late afternoon ceremony and evening reception at a private Villa in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
I was never one of those girls who dreamt of her wedding day from a young age; as a kid I put a pillowcase on my head so I could pretend to be a nun, not a bride [and no, I had no designs to be a woman of the cloth – I was merely impersonating my teachers at school!]. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that this wedding is a dream, albeit one that was never fully formed before I met MM. To be married to this man amidst the rolling hills of Italy, celebrating with close family and friends while feasting on traditional Tuscan fare and drinking wine from the Villa’s own vineyard…I’m pinching myself just thinking about it!