Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Wedding Toast

May 25th, 2012.

Below is the toast I gave at Wes and I's wedding reception in Oakland, California. I wrote this sitting in the backroom right before the reception began, typing as quickly as the iPhone will allow. This is exactly how I felt in the middle of that perfect day. 

Thank you all for coming here tonight, Wes and I love that we are able to share this day with the most important people in our lives. So many of you have traveled far and put countless hours into making this day memorable. This is a kindness that we will never forget. 

For those of you who know me well, you know I'm a big journaler. If you have any questions about what happened Easter weekend 2009 in Vegas or the 8th grade dance, they are sure to be detailed in my journals. I tease my dad a lot for "starting" my journaling "career" - back in 1996 he cheated in a game of yatzee, thus spurring the first entry I ever wrote - "dad cheats at yatzee" scribbled in dark green crayon inside a mini diary with cats on it. So naturally when Wes and I started dating, I pulled out my boxes filled with journals and searched through them. 

It was during this massive reread of my life's history that I came across a story I want to share with you all tonight. 

When we were 15, we went camping with our families following our annual mother's day tradition. Except this time it was November and we played a massive game of soccer instead of hiking. One evening after sitting around the fire, a few of us girls (all of who are here tonight) decided to walk into the middle of the field adjacent to our campsite to look at the stars. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Wes following us, and since I was awkward, 15 and had a massive, seemingly unrequited crush, I decided to flirt the only way I knew how. I sat down I a bench, sighed and said "I wonder if my future husband is thinking about me right now" and Wes walks up behind me and quietly says "I'm thinking about you, Hannah". The rest of the night is a blur. Whatever happened next was probably to embarrassing to mention anyway, I am almost certain I ran away and didn't talk to him for weeks sending our 15 year old love into a downward spiral, but none of that matters anymore.

Point is, I love Wesley Panek. I did when I was 15, I do now at 23 and I will for eternity.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sometimes I get a little jealous of friends and acquaintances; their fancy jobs and crazy travel schedules, changing the world and finding success in their careers.

But then I remember that in the last year I've truly begun to understand what it means to love and be loved in return.

Therein lies the victory.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomach ache. He missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, his classes, the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in his four-poster bed in the tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, and, especially, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world. But more than anything else Harry missed his best friends."
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I remember when I started college, my mom told me that over the next four years I’d constantly experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She promised that even though the world feels like it’s ending today, tomorrow everything will be better than it has ever been before. That’s just the nature of things, the rollercoaster of being a young adult.

It’s interesting now, as a 20 something, how much my emotional rollercoaster has leveled out. Trust me, I am by no means out of this rocky transition phase, but the highs and lows are less dramatic and come less often. Instead of every single day being miserable or the absolute best, every day is good. Just good. Maybe this is what it means to be an adult?

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it actually feels like to be an adult. I walk into my office every morning at 9:00on the dot in my pencil skirt and blazer, hoping nobody else thinks I look as phony as I feel. I sit in on meetings and lunches and spend the whole hour making sure I don’t spill on my lap or slouch too much. I go to the gym most nights and read the newspaper on the metro. Most of my friends and acquaintances are coworkers and our outings consist of the occasional happy hour (where I chug glasses of diet coke and lime while my peers sip on sangria) and work related texts over the weekend. I’m engaged, I’m settling down, and I have baking pans that were not purchased at Walmart.

A lot of the time I feel like everyone can tell that I’m really just faking it. It’s like I’m waiting for someone to come up to me and say “you know what Hannah, you gave it a nice try but now it’s time to fly back to Provo, Utah and watch March Madness instead of going to class, ok?” Like everyone is suddenly going to figure out that I have no idea what I’m doing. Because isn’t it obvious? Doesn’t the woman at the bank know I’m just a kid? But nobody has caught me. Except the guy at the gas station around the corner from my house who had to teach me how to use the pump a few months ago – that guy definitely knows.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like soon enough I’ll be able to pull out my iPhone to schedule appointments without feeling pretentious, because that’s what everyone does right? And I’ll get used to having my own health insurance and discussing 401ks won’t feel like having a conversation in Japanese. Handing out business cards won’t be embarrassing, and eventually I won’t remember how many months it has been since I graduated college because nobody will ask. I'm excited. This rollercoaster life my mom described to me all those years ago will continue to even out until the next phase when I’m thrown for a loop again.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours, but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are." - Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico