Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Gift From the Sea"

Every summer, I re-read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea," especially this year's beautiful 50th anniversary edition. Last night, I turned off the computer early for some me-time and that always includes time with a good book. Since we're in wedding season, I know that a lot of you are looking for great material for your vows -- and even if you're not, you're still going to love this -- so I thought I'd share one of my favorite passages from the book:

"I believe there opportunity for the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one...and not a functional, dependent one...but the meeting of two whole fully developed people as persons." She then goes on to credit the Scottish philosopher MacMurry with: "Personal relationships have no ulterior motive. They are not based on particular interests. They do not serve partial and limited ends. Their value lies entirely in themselves and for the same reason transcends all other values. And that is because they are relations of persons as persons." She adds the German poet Rilke's "The love that consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other."

I love that imagery, the two wholes touching and greeting each other. The essence of a healthy relationship and a very real thing to promise one another.

Today is a writing day -- I've had the great fortune of speaking with so many amazing professionals for my article. I'm particularly taken with the pearl experts at, and with Laura Lee whose handbags are at, among many others whose sites will be in the article. They may work with pearls and with beads, with crystal and with fabric and thread, but they've built their lives around a creative pursuit, things of beauty.

And speaking of things of beauty, I've framed a piece of artwork that Joe made me, and I've created a special platform for the beautiful red shoes he surprised me with -- there's no more room on the rack. It's amazing to see a physical representation of how much color and beauty he brings to my life. Art, music, laughter, the irrepressible comfort of being folded into his chest and surrounded by those arms, lifted and carried to a safer spot...two whole people who protect and touch and greet each other.

So now it's time to dive into this article, to put it together like a puzzle: my text and trend reports in outline form first, then the stats from industry surveys, then the quotes from the experts, sidebars, resources and finally call-outs (those quotes in magazine stories that are printed in larger type in colored boxes on the page) and notes on where graphics should go. I have good stuff to share...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A day of phone interviews

Just got off the phone with Sasha Souza, who is amazing and has graciously offered to contribute a quote to my new book, even though she has a book of her own coming out next year. That's what I love about everyone in the wedding industry. So positive, so excited, so creative and so willing to share. We love our jobs. We're 100% focused on a happy time in people's lives, and we work to make it even better. Casey Cooper, my co-author, is working on our manuscript while she's on vacation. Michelle Roth is in Europe right now, but she's ready to talk the minute she gets back.

As I work on an article for Gift Shop magazine on the best gifts to give to parents and bridal parties, I have to suggest you visit for their Swarovski-crystal personalized undies, and for gorgeous gemstone jewelry (check out the lariats that hang down your back!). is sending me a boatload of sample pearl necklaces, so I'm keeping an eye out for the mail truck. Can't wait to see the multicolor freshwater pearls that are hot right now. I've never really been the pearl type, but the tide may be changing on that one too. This summer, after all, I became a shoe girl and now I'm watching a whole lot of "What Not To Wear" and talking back to the TV ("Are you KIDDING with those pants?"). And yesterday, Joe and I watched a documentary on surfing, so now I want to try that the next time I'm in Hawaii. Speaking of Hawaii, I just got a release about a $20,000 Vera Wang wedding package at a resort on Maui. You stay in the Vera Wang suite, and the whole wedding is VW. Also in the In Box, a destination wedding package in India, and an invite for a free weekend at a B&B in Kennebunkport. (Can't go, have my cousin's baby's Christening that day and wouldn't dream of going without Joe.)

4 days 'til my niece and nephew arrive...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nicole Kidman's wedding

Congratulations to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban on their wedding this past weekend -- how wonderful to hear about their church wedding and the special serenades they arranged. Her one-shoulder dress design is sure to become the big trend moving forward....

Speaking of trends, I'm doing an article on the top gifts to give bridal parties and parents, and I'm amazed at what's out there. Gorgeous vases with sayings on them, framed collector's items, skydiving excursions. We've come a long way from the silver frame with the wedding portrait in it. Still want that one? Check out where you can get your black and white portrait digitally colored (such as the bouquet in sepia pink tones).

So this is the last big project I need to get done before my niece and nephew arrive for a week of swimming, shopping, museums, movies, cooking for Grammy and Grampy, 4th of July parade and fireworks, planting container gardens, and perhaps taking them crabbing on the boat. Not sure about that one, but the kids are going to have a great week. They're doing a countdown on their calendars -- Kevin just said it's 'One week to Butters-time,' since he wants to play with the hamster. They've put in their food orders, too. Sushi and rolled up ham with triangles of yellow American cheese, and meatballs. My goal is to get them to eat just one piece of fruit. We're breaking out the kitchen appliances -- quesadilla maker, smoothie maker, fondue pot -- for gourmet day. I only get to see them 1-2 times a year, so we cram as much into a week as possible.

Had a great weekend with Joe, most notably his cousin's baby's first birthday party where I met more of his wonderful relatives. The party reminded me of my family's reunions and holiday parties, with all the kids running around (the things you overhear! wow!), great food, lots of hugs and kisses, happy birthday sung in three languages, a chocolate pudding Napolean that has me drooling right now just thinking about it. And of course that snapshot moment where I had gone inside for coffee and was heading back outside to the terrace -- saw Joe sitting there laughing with his brother Adam, and I had to stop in my tracks for a second. And smile.

Today I'm taping a radio commercial, so I'd better take a look at the script before they call....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Speaking French in the morning

My niece just called me on her way to scholar's summer camp -- she's learning French. So we had our first little "Comment ca va?" "Ca va bien!" conversation, which just melts my heart. The kids are coming up from Tennessee for a week starting on the 1st, and they are dying to meet Butters the hamster. My niece will share her blueberries with the hamster, and my nephew will not if they're in a pie. I love these kids. Love how their minds work. I'll have to brush up on my French so I can keep up with them.

It's a good news morning -- Dad's feeling great after a transfusion and will most likely be home today. So I'm running errands for the family and possibly picking him up from the hospital, also getting my parents new cell phones. The morning's blocked off for family care and support, and then this afternoon I get back into the manuscript I'm editing, my guest forum at -- which has turned into a full-time position -- and contracts talks for the new book deal. I'll be working with a new publisher for my Bride's Diplomacy Guide, and everyone on PashWeddings is thrilled that the idea for the book came from my work there, answering their sticky questions about family squabbles and difficult situations. Seriously, some of these letters I get just floor me. Someone wrote recently about a bride who put horrible things about her in-laws on her personal wedding Web site. What happened to civility and respect for the in-laws? What happened to wanting to graciously enter a family? I can't believe some of the things that are sent to me, and I'm even more excited about doing this book. Sounds like it's needed.

And of course, I'm sighing over Joe. My own personal hero became a hero at the coffee shop when he handled an unruly, caffeine-deprived, testosterone-driven lunatic in the parking lot. Thanks to my guy, dozens of people got to work on time. Sigh...and he gives amazing footrubs. Double sigh. Just an idyllic evening at his place after a long, long day yesterday, and he surprised me with a gift. I was quite spastic with finding a place to put down my Snapple bottle so that I could open it, so maybe for him the best part of giving me a gift is watching me flip out right before I open it. I'm quite amusing to watch sometimes.

Well, it's errands time, so I'd better hit the road. Dad wants pierogies waiting for him when he gets home from the hospital, so I'll be cooking this morning as well. I wouldn't have it any other way. Dad wants pierogies, he gets pierogies. ;)

Monday, June 19, 2006

If you like statistics

Curious about wedding trends in your area? How many couples are planning outdoor weddings or traditional church weddings? What are area brides spending for their wedding gowns? Visit and click on your state. (No need to order the full survey -- state listings are in blue on the right). You'll see the national averages for wedding expenses there too, so make sure you're sitting down when you read this ;) On a positive note, some of the survey results are a joyful surprise in their affordability.

Just thought you might find it fun to see the average expenses, and this is a fabulous report to show to parents who have offered to help pay for your wedding. Better to have them aware of the ballpark figures right now, so there are no 1950s expectations about what flowers and cakes really cost.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Working at midnight

It's the last minutes of Father's Day, and I'm here in my office putting the finishing touches on three Web pages and an article. It was a fantastic day for my father...breakfast out with my Mom, then a barbecue ribs, potato salad, beans and coconut cream pie lunch with all of us there with him. That morning, he'd been worried about his lack of appetite (chemo will do that), but he wolfed on the ribs. And we gave him a little bit of beer (with his doctor's okay), just a juice glass half-full, and he was a happy camper. So now we know to put barbecue sauce on everything, and he'll be more likely to eat it. I was telling Joe tonight that I am the Protein Police at my parents' place, keeping a serious eye on their diets, making sure there's plenty of beef and chicken in the house, lots of beans, healthy salads. I'm sure I'm annoying sometimes, but as a good Italian girl, I show my love with food. And in the world of cancer, I have little to no power over how things go. So the only way I feel I have any power at all is in being the Protein Police if I have to, and the treat dispenser when I can. When their fridge is full, and when Dad puts down some beans, I'm doing my job well.

So it was a great day with laughter at the dinner table, a happy dog under the dinner table getting lots of rib handouts, and with the exception of some kind of carcass dropped on the lawn by a hawk passing overhead, a beautiful day. On my drive home, a spotted fawn was just walking down the street, and all the cars had stopped to let it have its way. I love living in this part of the suburbs where we don't have enough deer to be a menace, so we can appreciate the rare doe, fawn or buck who shows up. They're cinnamon-colored, and they're used to us humans. I see one almost every day on my walk around the lake...

My weekend with Joe was amazing, as always. We went to the pool, snuggled in to watch movies, he marinated some steaks and I got my snapshot moment of seeing him grilling out on my deck. We went for ice cream. We played with the hamster. Just perfection. I still get first-kiss dizzy with each kiss. He makes great moments happen, and I especially loved his 'Inside the Music' account of why he chose the songs on my mix CD. And yes, it's the only one I've listened to since he made it for me. I'm a smitten kitten...

A smitten kitten with a To-Do list that's crushing. So I'm burning the midnight oil after a great afternoon of five articles done for PashWeddings, answered a few forum questions on PashWeddings (I'm guesting this week, so send in your questions), did the three Web pages, and just received my replacement assignment from Turns out the garden weddings piece I completed a tick before deadline doesn't work for them this month, so they'll use it next month. In replacement, I have a week to do a new piece on oceanside weddings. Piece of cake. With two big articles due next week, I'm clearing out whatever I can get done now. Word should be coming in this week about the new book deal, too. I'm always happiest when my plate is full. I do much better work when it's a pileup, rather than when I have a smattering of assignments here and there. I love the magazine work I'm doing, the Web writing, and the new book is only a few days away. And then there's "What's Your Bridal Style?", to which celebrity wedding coordinator Randie Pellegrini is going to contribute. I get to talk with her tomorrow night, and she's long been one of my idols.

So I'd better get back to work before I register 'procrastination' and move to the couch with a bowl of cereal to watch the Food Network. One more section for a wedding coordinator's site and I'm done for the night. I just looked up at the photo above my computer and got all warm. I'm so incredibly lucky. Every day, I'm reminded of that.

And since it's Father's Day, I'd like to send out a big kiss to all the fathers who aren't with us anymore, who watch down over us with pride and joy that we've absorbed what they taught us, and maybe exceeded their expectations. We get so much from our fathers, the good and the bad, lessons learned and lessons to unlearn over time. So cheers to all the fathers out there -- the fathers who dance with their daughters at their weddings, the fathers who watch over their children from above, the fathers in Iraq and Afghanistan who see their newborns for the first time over videophone, the fathers of great ideas, the fathers of hamsters, the father of this writer. You are loved more than you can ever imagine.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Garden weddings

I'm usually done a week before a deadline, but I'm still plugging away at this article on planning garden weddings. I'll be speaking with the U.S. National Arboretum and a bed and breakfast as the two sample types, and including the garden wedding of a lovely couple in North Carolina who planted their own backyard garden for their wedding, constructed a trellis, picked their own bouquets from their garden, and prepped most of the food themselves.

Contrast that to the PR release I received today -- a couple who brought in advertisers to have their entire wedding held in a baseball stadium, with ads on the Jumbotron for their 8,000 'guests' in attendance at the game (Flowers by _____, Cake by _____, etc.) I'm all for creativity with the budget, but I wonder if the vows will be sponsored by Taco Bell. ;) I've been asked by the media for my opinion on this comes up every now and then, and my opinion is this: to each his own.

I had a terrific blog all ready for you a few days ago, but Blogger was having technical issues. So I'll short-list the details: mini-golf, terrific dinners, hammock time, check out for your digital photos on ceramic tile and as puzzles, and Butters the hamster may be pregnant. Joe and I might be grandparents. I've done everything else in my life out of order -- I did my 30s in my 20s, I'm doing my 20s now -- so why not be a hot, stylin' grandma too? ;)

Back to the To-Do list. I'm thrilled beyond belief that Sasha Souza has agreed to give us a quote for "What's Your Bridal Style?" and I can't wait to get back to that project after completing the garden piece. My in-box is piled up -- friends' June birthdays, Father's Day meal to plan, lunch with friends next week, and counseling a friend who's thinking of calling off her wedding. Brava to her. The guy's a crumb.

Beef fajita marinade is almost done, and the veggies need to be cut for tonight's meal, so I'm kitchen bound for another hour of procrastinating. It's early. I'll make that deadline for the garden wedding piece. ;) Oh, and my ice cube trays are a little low. Domestic stuff is my prep style -- I do great work after the socks have been paired, the peppers sliced, my floors Swiffered. I was the same way in college -- my roommates LOVED me. Still do.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


No, this is not a baby announcement for Butters the Hamster (who is a genius, by the way). My issue of InStyle Weddings arrived yesterday! I saw the plain, white-wrapper mailing envelope in my mailbox and knew instantly. This was the big moment.

Now I liken this to how someone tries out and tries out and tries out for an Olympic team or the National Ballet theater, always gets THIS close, and it doesn't work out. But this time, my quote is there. It means the world to be to be quoted alongside Colin Cowie, Preston Bailey, Jung Lee, Amy Mancuso, Joanne Gregoli, Peggy Post (and the list goes on). I've belonged there for a while, and with thanks to Allison Winn Scotch (who gets the next hamster named after her), my dream has come true. I can't even believe it. Joe promised to get it framed for me. It's that big a deal and will hang over my desk.

Joe and I went out to a hibachi restaurant to celebrate, and then out for ice cream. While we chose to go with Baskin Robbins, we stumbled on a cute little ice cream shop in the same strip mall (hey, this is Jersey...that's what we have here!). Hollywood Ice Cream has specials named after movies and movie lines. My favorite: From "A Few Good Men" : "You can't handle three scoops!" They have a Wizard of Oz special that features mint green ice cream, and something called the Titanic with 19 scoops of ice cream. Sounds like lunch to me! Just kidding. It's a brilliant marketing strategy and I wish them luck. Our night ended with Dave Attell comedy tape, foot massages and playing with Butters, who has mostly accepted me as part of Joe's life. He'll climb on my chest, but when I pick him up, he wants his Dad's strong hands. Little guy just flails until he gets back to Joe. But I think I've won him over a little with my sesame seed treats.

Joe and I played mini-golf today, then went out for salmon salad and fish tacos. He's out at a show with his brother tonight, and I'm just back from drinks with the girls. Two old high school friends recently reunited. So, stuffed on fondue and just one glass of Chardonnay, I'm in for the night to watch Wedding Week on Very happy to see my colleague Collette Peters featuring her amazing cakes -- she did one based on a famous art deco painting -- and learn how those ice sculptures are really made. So I'm trying to decide between the carrot sticks and fat-free dip (it's pool season) and chocolate Oreos. I've already splurged on some new jeans tonight, plus a chocolate brown dress I fell in love with and matching espadrilles, so maybe I've had enough chocolate for the night. Best to go with the carrot sticks.

Just pumped out a chapter for "What's your Bridal Style?" in between commercials and am turning off the computer before I get in the flow and write four more sections. I've been trying to discipline myself not to write on weekends, but it's like breathing. I have to do it. And when inspiration strikes, there's no saying no. Same with the jeans and chocolate dress and espadrilles and handbag. My celebratory gift for being in InStyle Weddings. Job well done. Thank you, Allison. You've made my day.

Oh, and a very special moment that those of you who loved "Under the Tuscan Sun" will appreciate...I had a ladybug crawling on my arm during mini-golf today. Joe pointed it out. "Ladybugs, Kathryn! Lots and lots of ladybugs!"

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

18 in a row

That would be 18 radio interviews in a row, a satellite radio tour where I gave back-to-back drive-time radio interviews across the country. I had to be on a landline for clarity, so there I was all nestled into my goose feather comforter and pillows, wearing pink pajamas and pink and red fuzzy socks, giving interviews from my living room floor. The time flew, the interviews went wonderfully, and I just saw one of my biggest dreams come true. I've always wanted to do an SRT, and I have this one under my belt. Plus, more than a few radio hosts referred to me as DR. Naylor, which tickled me.

And the reporter from InStyle Weddings comp copy with my quotes in it is in the mail. Listen closely in a few days. You'll hear me screaming for joy out by my mailbox. Another dream come true.

I'm rackin' them up.

Went to visit Joe and Butters tonight. It could be working woman guilt, but I was an absent parent for his first 24 hours, and my imagination says that Butters prefers Joe. Or it could have been the orange and ginger hand lotion I'd just put on before I arrived. Poor little Butters probably didn't know if he should eat my hand. But he's learning how to use his exercise ball -- Joe holds out a blueberry for him to chase. It's the most amazing thing, and it thrills me to see Joe so in love with the little guy. In fact, I may have been rushed out of cuddle time tonight so that Joe could have some Butters time. Just kidding. I love how the two of them have bonded. Butters definitely knows who has the blueberries.

Doing some online shopping right now -- job well done today, so it's treat time for me (the shoe equivalent of blueberries, I'd imagine). Check out to design your own shoes in color, fabric and heel. Great for bridesmaids, an eye-opener for brides who have requested hideous shoes, and just plain fun for the ladies (and the men who love them). With thanks to my Shoe Guru...I put my style in your hands. And personal note to you, Style Guru: I just ordered a few skirts. Conservative? Yes. But the tops...not so much.

"Sweet November" is on TV in the background. It's one of those hideous guilty pleasures that you just have to watch, if only to see Keanu Reeves play 'lovestruck' and 'cynical.' I always keep waiting for the 'Whoooaaaaa.' My other TV guilty pleasures that I just have to leave on: "Father of the Bride" remakes 1 & 2, "Dirty Dancing," "Field of Dreams," "Shawshank Redemption," "The Wedding Planner," "Princess Bride" and anything with John Cusack. All on in the background while I'm writing my books and articles.

And now for some more online's June, and it's wedding season, so that means wedding and shower gifts for some of my friends and editors. Check out if you're planning a shower for anyone.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A tremendous honor

I spoke briefly at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society dinner last night, and it was such an honor to find myself there right before the 2-year anniversary of my Mom's diagnosis with NHL (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). As I prepped my speech, I was getting a little teary-eyed at home, so I was quite thankful to be semi-bumped in the speaking lineup by a major contributor. I did, however, get to share the news that leukemia 5-year survival rates have gone up from 5% in 1960 to over 85% now. That's quite breathtaking. The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of Kisha Aschoe and her team -- and I was honored to be a part of it.

Joe and I spent most of our time there browsing the auction items -- tickets to the Somerset Patriots, a signed Jets football, dinner at Mohegan Sun in CT, and a phenomenal collection of additional sports tickets and event passes. The highlight of the collection, as evidenced by the milling crowd and the lurking teenagers, was a cute little puffball hamster in the corner. He was the hit of the auction. And guess where he is now? That's right...I won him for Joe. Butters Kong is now living in my boyfriend's house, after a ride home in a limousine last night. That's one lucky hamster.

Our other prizes: tickets to the racetrack clubhouse and dinner for 2 at Rain in Mohegan Sun. I was truly hoping for the 4 box seats to the Somerset Patriots game, but I blame the diabolical person who switched the ticket buckets. There's a foul ball headed right for your noggin, buddy. Karma. Who would think to switch auction ticket buckets at a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma? Seriously...

Today's all business, ending with my satellite radio tour training and practice interview. The real back-to-back interviews happen bright and early tomorrow morning, which is going to be a blast. So I'm all coffee'd up and ready to get into my day, but first will go for a long walk around the lake to burn off all that terrific food from last night. Fried mozzarella, custard cups, burrito, brownies...mmmmmm.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A world of art

A recent issue of Publisher's Weekly reported on the amazing growth -- and amazing artistry -- of comic books. I'm an art lover, so I jumped at the chance to attend the Wizard Convention in Philadelphia with Joe. You might think 'comic book show' would be a strange place to find me, but let me tell you: get to one if you can. The artwork in these drawings is truly breathtaking: the capture of the human form, muscles in perfect succession, unmistakable movement and speed conveyed with pen and paper. Some of those images stopped me in my tracks...

But then again, so did the sight of someone dressed as The Flash who REALLY should have worn underwear under his tights.

What a phenomenal scene: endless collections of comic books, people walking around dressed as StormTroopers and Darth Vader who are only too happy to stop and take a photo with you. (I really wish I'd done a kiss shot with Darth Vader -- something to show my niece and nephew that would further cement my status as 'Coolest Aunt Ever.') We missed film legend Kevin Smith by one day, but one of the first things we did was get our picture taken with Lou Ferrigno and with WWF legend King Kong Bundy who was incredibly sweet about his camera misfires and said to Joe, as he had his hands around my throat wrestler-style: "I hope you don't mind me touching your wife like this." Second person, after the waiter in AC, to say something similar.

I must admit, I was like an over-sugared kid at a carnival -- "Ooooo, look at that!" "Check THAT out!" I'm sure Joe considered one of those kid leashes (that I'm against, actually) to keep me from running off to look at a Wonder Woman tee shirt or a Strawberry Shortcake tee shirt, or the retro Archie and Veronica tumblers, the photo and paycheck from The Wizard of Oz's tin man. And I flipped out when I saw a Donovan McNabb figurine for my mom -- she's a big fan.

The best moment of the day -- seeing Joe's eyes light up when he found a comic book signed by the creator, from his own personal collection. My man likes things of value and sentiment. It was a great moment for him, and I loved seeing him that happy after he'd searched for hours for just the right collectible. The prices on those first editions floored me: $2,000 for some of the classics. Amazing that the nickel comics my Mom collected as a child were going for so much.

Just a terrific time in a world of art and value, with my favorite person, and fun photos to tell the tale. Plus fabulous banana berry smoothies. A gorgeous ride along the Delaware River, a gorgeous day with a beautiful sky, and gorgeous cuddling time. The perfect anniversary weekend. I'm listening to the music mix CD Joe made me ---I've never heard some of these songs and am just swooning.

Today is an errand day -- the usual Monday morning routine: bank, post office, office supply store, dry cleaners, heading over to my parents' place to drop off their food shopping, and then I'll write an article for Bride and Groom Magazine on thank you note inserts, follow up on procurement orders from Bed Bath & Beyond, follow up on some book proposal pitches, type in the three chapters I wrote longhand for What's Your Bridal Style? and then get ready for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Taste of the Town dinner tonight. I'm emceeing, so I have a script to go over. It's a beautiful morning, coffee's on, and the To Do list is a pleasant one.

Check out for the print "Inflammatory Pages." It's my image of a writer superhero, and I love the quote: "The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame." -- Oscar Wilde

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Woman's Day issue that's been sitting on my desk

I mentioned that I had some back issues of magazines to go through, so as I'm flipping through the June 20 issue of Woman's Day...there's my article! You'd think after thousands of articles in magazines, it would be a 'how nice' and a flip to the recipes section, but I flipped out today. It had been sitting there for days and days. Reminds me of a great piece of advice a friend shared a while ago...."everything you need is already there." Or that was Lao Tzu. Or Wayne Dyer. Nah, I think it was Jill. Regardless, my article is out in the world right now and I imagine people in dentists' offices reading it, nodding, and looking both ways before tearing it out. I have a vivid imagination.

So that's the capper on an awesome, awesome day. Today's highlight...going to Joe's office to meet him for lunch. Now I work at home. By myself. I am my own receptionist, my own IT person, my own messenger. So when I take an elevator up to the floor that's entirely his firm, and there's a meeting going on in a conference room at a huge mahogany table, and a receptionist calls Joe to say that I'm there, and I meet his personal assistant, that's a walk into another world for me. I felt like I had to whisper. :) But everyone at his office is so very nice, and I can tell how highly they think of Joe. Very good to see. And it gave me a tickle to see my photo framed on his desk. I love that. Wonder if he looks at it like I look at his picture on my desk....

So we went out for lunch and then for iced coffees, stopped in at a suit store for him and a clothing store for me. I used to work at New Jersey Monthly in the same town where he works, way back in my college intern days, and I used to have lunch on a blanket on the green (a park-like area in the center of the business district). Who knew I'd be walking hand-in-hand with him there a few years later. ;) I love walking down the street with him, looking up at those green eyes...I'd better stop now or I won't get any work done today. If someone asked me for one word to describe him, it would be 'dreamy.' My friends -- who have always had insta-nicknames for anyone I dated -- have christened him the 'Tall Drink of Water.' A little objectifying, but I think it fits. Pure. Refreshing. You just have to sigh...

Great work day already -- my profile and interview are up at LoveTo Know Weddings ( ) and it showcases my Bridal Gratitude Journal, which I love. We've set up the next monthly contest at, my editors at Gift Shop magazine love the article I delivered, and I landed a huge interview for my new book. I just wrote my speech for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Taste of the Towns dinner on Monday and booked a limo for our ride to the event. Plus it was a good mail day. Contracts, the news that my novel IT'S MY WEDDING TOO is selling like hotcakes in Thailand (what is THAT all about?), and my new blender and iron showed up from the home supply store. So it's been a great day.

And thank you to all of you who have sent in notes of well wishes and advice about Peanut's health. She's doing much better today, and is chowing down on Joe's spaghetti. Whew...that was a scary one, but all is well. I really appreciate those of you who took the time to write. Such kindness in this world...