Here We Are

Well, hello there! Welcome to My Almost Midlife Crisis, I’m your host Jennifer Mathis. This podcast is about getting older and dealing with everything that comes with that. Speaking of getting older, my birthday was the end of the July and I’ve officially entered into my last year of my 30’s – yup, I’m 39. And I’ve already decided this year is going to be my best yet. It’s been a couple of weeks since we chatted and since then I’ve gone and gotten myself married and had my honeymoon! So, this week, it’s time to catch up!

Hey everyone! So, this is the first episode I’ve recorded in a while! Some of you know, my wedding was July 17th and if you’ve ever planned a wedding, you know the month leading up to the big day is jam-packed. So, I pre-recorded all of my July episodes in June to give myself the space to enjoy my big day and all the festivities and go on my honeymoon. But I’m back and honestly, it feels great!

Prior to the wedding, I did a couple episodes about wedding planning as an elder bride and the benefits of waiting to get married called My Way or Bust and Middle-Aged Bride. But now, I’m officially a Mrs. and I have to say it feels great. It’s interesting because while we’ve been together for almost a decade, it feels somewhat different now – don’t worry, in a good way!

From my perspective, it’s a renewed sense of stability and security that I now feel. It’s also a renewed attraction to Christian. Don’t get me wrong, I felt all of these things prior to July 17th, but it just feels more now. Hard to explain, I guess.

Our day was so special and a ton of fun. One of my mom’s friends said that she’d never seen a bride enjoy her wedding as much as I did, and I like to think that’s true. I mean, after planning and re-planning, a year long delay and all of the hoops we had to jump through to even have it in a world of COVID, I was hell bent on enjoying every minute of it. On the day, I woke up in my gorgeous suite at the Pendry in Chicago – which if you haven’t been, you should. Formally known as the St. Jane, and before that the Hard Rock – the Pendry is in the Carbon and Carbine building which is my favorite building in Chicago as it was built in the prohibition era and made to look like a champagne bottle as a big F you to the government. I woke up early to write my vows – yes, I waited until the day of, but I had been thinking about it for weeks. I wanted to be in the moment when I actually wrote them.

From there I went to cryotherapy to get rid of any inflammation and feel refreshed and then hair and makeup started. The wedding itself didn’t come without its hiccups, but it was ours. Every part of the wedding spoke to us as a couple. From the food and drink to entering the reception to Drunk in Love which is our song. While we were taking photos during cocktail hour, all I could think of is let’s get back to the party! I had spent so long planning this thing, I wanted to enjoy every part.

I will say I have never felt so nervous as waiting to enter for the ceremony and walking down the aisle. I was shaking and trying to hold back tears. I pretty much ran down the aisle – I’m not kidding, I saw a video and I couldn’t get to the alter fast enough. All I could think of is try not to cry through the whole ceremony so you can actually get some pics without tears. But on the flipside, I hope they got some good motion shots because I was moving quick!

After a ton of dancing and a surprising number of tequila shots, we had a bit of a parade back to our suite for the after party with close friends and family. Yes, tequila shots – which is surprising because honestly, I hate tequila shots. And I remember one in particular where there was ice in the glass, so I took the shot, spit it back into the glass, got rid of the ice and then took it again – who am I? Surprisingly I didn’t get drunk. I did at the after party, but not during the wedding. I always had a glass in my hand, but I think I was just so excited and walking around and dancing of course that I never actually drank that much of it. I can’t say that for all my guests, there were definitely some that maybe overdid it – but everyone had fun which is all I wanted. I remember having the same conversation with a couple folks more than once for sure.

My Matron of Honor Faith shocked the hell out of me by rapping her speech to Gangsta’s Paradise which probably seems random, but this is my karaoke song in which I’m pretty much an expert. So then of course I had to do the real deal later on the reception and actually rap the full song.

When checking out of the hotel, I received boxes of things from my wedding planner that were left at the venue. Things like décor we had brought and what not. But also, in one box? A shoe. Just one. So, the whole next day we were speculating who had lost just one shoe? We had some ideas based on the level of drunkenness, no I’m not going to name names, but we were pretty sure we knew who it was.

That day we had a casual brunch in the party room of our condo building and learned that if you are going to host a brunch with a bunch of Colombians, plan for about 2-3X the coffee you would normally get. After brunch a couple of Christian’s family members came up to our condo for a bit and we were talking about the shoe and who we thought it was. And one of Christian’s relatives claimed the shoe! His cousin – older than him – like in her 50s, claimed it! Apparently, she had changed her shoes to flats during the reception and then forgot one of the heels from under the table when they left.

Of course, within less than 24 hours after tying the knot, the baby pressure started. Actually, during the wedding, it officially started by excited family that wants to continue Christian’s last name.

But the day after the wedding not only did my dad already start asking which room in our condo would be the nursery, but Christian’s family wished us well on our honeymoon and told us to start making babies. Lol oh boy. From what I understand, all newlyweds start getting pressure on starting a family, but let me tell you – when you’re pushing 40 – they waste no time!

Our honeymoon was fabulous in Hawaii. We were originally planned to go to New Zealand and Bora Bora but as you can imagine with COVID that wasn’t going to happen. We picked Hawaii because we wanted a place with beaches, hiking and nature and it delivered. We spent seven nights in Maui and five in Kauai. In Maui we swam with sea turtles, paddle boarded, hiked and ate a lot. The food was amazing – so much fresh fish, I was in heaven.

We rented a convertible because I love them, but it was a Chevy Camaro which felt like a massive, slow boat. Lemme, tell you driving the road to Hana in a boat was so nerve wracking! I was so exhausted by the end of the day from the pure nerves! I have discovered I’m a more nervous driver in general than I expected. I haven’t had a car in 13 years and last year we leased a Tesla because we felt trapped in the city without a car during quarantine.

The last car I owned was a Hyundai Elantra and not the ones you see now that at least look a lot nicer. Mine was basic, no bells and whistles. The Tesla feels like a damn spaceship compared. The sensors? I know they are meant to be helpful, but I swear they make it so much worse for me. Especially in the city where there are a lot of close spaces from traffic to parallel parking to tight parking spots – that thing is dinging all the time and I always think I’m inches from damaging the car at all times.

While the Camaro didn’t have that, it felt so much wider and longer than the Tesla and didn’t have any sensors, so my nerves were at an all time high!

In Kauai, the first day we went on a drive to the Waimea Canyon which is like the Grand Canyon of Hawaii – and gorgeous. Definitely worth a trip for sure. We weren’t planning on hiking that day but while we were at the canyon, we decided to walk down a trail. This trail ended up being a four mile, very steep hike – did I mention we were in flip flops?

I swear, for as experienced hikers as Christian and I are, we sure seem to get ourselves into amateur hiking situations. We’ve hiked Kilimanjaro for God sakes! But still in Argentina we went hiking in the Andes and got lost, had no water and no GPS and an incoming thunderstorm. In Iceland we got off the path and were completely lost with zero people around for six hours pretty much assuming we’d die out there. In Azores we hiked 27 miles in a day and didn’t bring enough water. And now in Hawaii we were hiking in flip flops.

While we finished the other instances with only a funny story, this time ended in Christian’s broken toe. Yep, he slipped and jammed his toe into a boulder and sure enough broke it. Poor thing had to then still hike two miles with a broken toe before we could head to the hospital. Now I believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe Christian was meant to break his toe. Why?

Well, at the hospital, the doctor asked what our plans were the rest of the trip and we said we were going skydiving the following morning. Let’s just say his reaction was not what you want to hear before you jump out of a plane. He was like, “Here? I’ve been skydiving for 21 years, and I would never do it here.” Um…. well, that’s terrifying. The reviews were good I said, but he goes – just google Kauai skydiving crash. Also, not what you want to hear.

Sure enough, when we got back to the hotel and had Wi-Fi, we both started our google journey and yeah – seems there is a big issue with aviation and tourism in Hawaii. This skydiving company specifically was involved in a crash in 2016 that killed five people and another emergency landing in 2018. Reading this naturally leads to forums and articles around all the other deaths and injuries from helicopter tours and skydiving in Hawaii – note to self. Keep your feet on the ground or in the water when visiting Hawaii.

Needless to say, we didn’t end up going. Total bummer because I really wanted to see the view from up there and wanted to be with Christian for his first time. But considering the luck we had so far on the trip with the broken toe, we weren’t going to push it by jumping. Also, once that is in your head, it’s really hard to ignore. And how bad would that be if we went anyway, and something did happen? Another time, I guess.

And so here we are, we’re now three weeks married and going strong! Hey, listen, one week at a time, right? You’ve got to celebrate the small wins. No, but seriously, it’s been great. After all the stress of wedding planning and of course living through a pandemic, it felt so good to get away and reconnect and just be with each other without distractions for two whole weeks. It was a good reminder that no matter what happens in the future, no matter how busy our life gets or what excuses we can come up with – we need to always make time for just the two of us. That is my promise for our marriage. To always put our relationship first and set aside time for just us. I’ve never been happier and cannot wait for what’s to come!

Listen, share and subscribe today wherever you get your podcasts. I would also really appreciate it if you could take two minutes and leave a review! Only if it’s five stars though. If you are even thinking of giving me three or less, then you can skip that part. Thanks for listening and until next time!

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