The Jean and Dave wedding

February 6, 2013

Wow. It is with great happiness that I announce the wedding of my sibling, Jean, and Dave. Okay, it was two weeks ago, so I’m a little late. But I’d just like to once again give credit where credit is due…it was Jean and Dave who prompted me to start this blog. Thank you, bro and sis. And now, they are happily married. My blog readers thank you and congratulate you on this happy union.

Now, what can I say about the wedding. So much…but yet, so little at the same time. So much happened, and the whole weekend was so fun that I managed to write out a list of all funny things that happened for fear that I, Sara, would forget them all in due time. I did this because I can pretty much guarantee that in no less than 3 months, many memories will be lost. I have the worst memory of all time. I say “so little,” because I mayyyy have overindulged a bit at the reception. A lot of the end of it is blurry. I remember going crazy when the song “Paso,” by Sak Noel came on. Meaning, I was literally jumping around as though I was at a Sak Noel concert. I remember my toast, and Liv’s. I vaguely recall a bus ride back to the hotel and gazing up at the full moon saying that it meant something crazy was going to happen (nothing crazy happened to me specifically, but that sure did come true for others). Then, thankfully, I stopped drinking. Oh wait – a couple of pictures of me at the hotel bar show me drinking PBR, albeit painfully. Anyway, it must not have been much because the next day I realized I had left my credit card at the bar with an amazingly high $5.23 bar tab. Why did I move to DC?

Now, I can’t post everything that happened at the wedding on the blog, you crazy kids. Some of it is G rated, and some of it…R. Actually, is there a rating higher than R? Because that is what I would rate this wedding at. Those implicated will remain nameless, of course. Because what happens in Middletown, CT….stays in Middletown, CT. And that is all I can say about that. If any friends who were at the wedding would like to see my own personal list of wedding memories, please contact me and I will provide the list on an as requested basis. Thank you.

That being said, for my other sister’s wedding last summer, Liv, I posted her wedding toast. I figured I’d give Jean and Dave that same honor here by posting my toast for their wedding. So here you go…

Thank you John.

John was our DJ, and ironically, friend from home. I was even more tipsy for this toast than I was Liv’s, if that is possible, but I am pretty sure I said this again.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jean’s older sister, Sara.

Insert loud cheers from crowd. I wasn’t expecting this, so I ad libbed…

Okay, everyone knows me.

I don’t have an ego at all.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for braving the cold and the distance to spend this amazing day with Jean and Dave.  This has been a much anticipated wedding celebration, so we have a lot of expectations to live up to (no pressure).

Not kidding about it being much anticipated. Ever since the Jean and Dave engagement last year, we knew we were in for a wedding treat.

As many of you know, Jean has quite the strong personality.  She knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it, and she knows how to go about getting it.  She also has no problem saying exactly what’s on her mind.  For example, one time Jean was visiting me in DC before she moved there.  I introduced her to my neighbor (neighbor Paul), and Jean, being a dentist, immediately noticed that he had a crooked front tooth.  By way of introduction, she said “hello,” and then followed up with “you know, I can fix number 10 for you.”  Something you say to someone immediately upon meeting them. 

Dave’s a bit different.  He’s more calculated in all his activities.  He also has a much more calming nature about him.  He’s not an intense person like Jean, but rather, he knows how to calm her down in intense situations.  So while they have many similar interests, I think it’s their different personalities that attract them to one another.  Their opposing personalities also make them better people together.  Jean has taught Dave organization, structure, and promptness.  And amazingly, I think that Dave’s calming nature has rubbed off on my sister.  

Take, for example, a recent event some of you may have seen described on Jean’s Facebook status.  On the drive up from DC for the wedding, we had a bit of a mishap. On the top of our car there was a carrier that held all of their ski gear and other items.  While driving along I-95, we suddenly realized something was amiss with the carrier, so pulled over on the highway.  Dave got out to investigate, only to discover that he had neglected to lock said carrier.  Defeated, he got back into the car, sat down, and stared blankly ahead.  He then informed us that Jean’s ski bag, which contained two of her favorite pairs of boots, was gone.  He looked like he was going to cry, and frankly – looked a little bit scared.  Expecting the worst, I braced myself for the imminent wrath of Jean.  But, I was pleasantly surprised.  Jean, realizing that Dave obviously didn’t do this on purpose, and that the only reason for this occurrence was him being extremely overtired, miraculously said “it’s okay.” “It’s okay?!”  I was seeing a whole new side of Jean.  The pre-Dave Jean would have lost her temper and yelled, but my sister was instead even tempered and…calm…patient.  She was taking on the role of Dave!

So as I’m telling this story, I’m looking at the audience but also at Jean and Dave. Mid-story, I see Dave gesturing to add something to the story that was not prepared. Not wanting to mess up my flow, i.e. eff up the speech, I did not say this. But what Dave was trying to get me to say was that the reason the carrier was left open in the first place was because I had asked him for the keys to go back inside to help Jean bring the rest of our items out to the car. Normally, Dave leaves the key in the carrier while loading it up and then locks it before closing the lid. Well, since there was no key in the carrier when he went to shut it this time (because I had it), naturally, he was insinuating that it was my fault the lid was not locked. He wasn’t going to blame it on me, but he just wanted to let me know that was the reason. As only a true bother should. Carrying on…

Of course I say these things about my sister, but she’s my best friend.  We are super close and have been all our lives.  To that end, I am overjoyed that she’s found someone who makes her a better person and who treats her like the amazing individual that she is.  And I can’t say enough good things about Dave, or “bro” as I have been calling him ever since they got engaged.  I couldn’t have asked for my sister to have found a better person, and I know Dave will treat Jean right for the rest of their lives. 

And with that, I’d like to offer a toast. 

To Jean and Dave.  That they lead a lifetime of happiness in their marriage, that they remain the best of friends, treat each other with respect and dignity, and continue to love, trust, and cherish one another as a happily married couple should.

Okay, I just realized that I can’t end this post here. There are actually far too many ridiculous memories that actually are bloggable that I can post here. I will tease you with a few now:

  1. Standing at the alter, the deacon opens with “We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of Sss….. (awkward pause) Jean, and Dave.” Wait, WHAT?! Did I just hear correctly? Did she almost say MY name rather than my sisters? Gathering from the look of Dave, and his best man right behind him, who were both looking at me with a “did that really just happen” look of pure amazement, I did not imagine that. She almost married me to Dave. Mind you, this is mid-ceremony. But the look on Dave’s face as well as the look on the best man’s face led me to naturally burst out in laughter…at the alter. It was like being in church back in the day when me and my sisters could not stop laughing, even though we knew it was entirely not appropriate to laugh at that moment. But this wasn’t just like I was sitting in a pew during a Sunday service. I was in the spotlight, at the alter….and I could NOT STOP LAUGHING. Thanks Dave for the look on your face that led to my uncontrolable laughter. It wasn’t until Liv started punching me from behind that I realized I needed to get a grip. Does someone have this on video?
  2. Wedding party being introduced to the reception hall to Gangham Style. Wouldn’t have been my first choice in songs, but, guys…this was good. At least, my tipsy ass thought it was good at the time. Each couple walked in doing their own dance. My favorite was probably the one in which our friend Stephen and M walked in normally but then halfway started doing the ridiculous dance that Stephen is infamously known for. I can’t even describe how ridiculous the dance it, but trust me on this one – it’s ridiculous. Something between the Elaine Sienfeld flailing arm thing combined with this odd kicking motion. After each couple rolled in hot, we slapped hands walking down the entire (9 person deep) wedding party line like we were coming in from the baseball field. It was then that I knew….this was going to be a fun wedding.
  3. Ant’s toast. If you were there, I need not say more. This was hands down the best wedding toast I have ever witnessed. Heartfelt, hilarious, not too short or long, with props…this thing could not be beat. Ant is introduced, but doesn’t jump up from a table. Instead, she makes an entrance by opening the front door to the reception hall dressed as 5th grade Jean. Mind you, Jean had the biggest “shark” in school. For whatever reason, when we were growing up at the time it was very popular for girls to hairspray their bangs straight up into the air as high as possible, looking similar to a shark fin. So Ant strolls into the reception hall upon introduction with rolled up jeans, a silk shirt, a tie….and the shark. That in itself was amazing. But the toast was hilarious and awe-inspiring. Thank you Ant for the amazing toast. It will never be forgotten.
  4. Similar to Liv’s wedding, and many thanks to John, we literally just danced our asses off for three hours. Some good stuff there. I recall some solid dance offs between characters of all ages from both sides of the family. And I wouldn’t recall this but for pictures, but at one point a few people decided to lift the bride off the floor into a plank-like, dirty dancing type situation.
  5. I also recall honestly contemplating with Elle doing a wedding party pyramid at 9pm sharp. All we needed to do was send the pyramid hand signal to John that we were ready to go, and we’d create the biggest pyramid of all time in wedding attire. What more could a bride ask for? Sadly, this did not happen until about 1am at the hotel bar, but the entire wedding party was not included. The bride did end up on the top and we have the picture to prove it. Good stuff right there.
  6. This last bullet has nothing to do with the actual wedding ceremony. But it does have to do with the carrier. Full circle. For a reason still unbenounced to me, my sister and Dave wanted good old Sara to drive them to the airport in Newark to see them off on their honeymoon. This would then require me to continue to drive their car back to DC. Thinking I’d be driving an automatic vehicle when I agreed to this, I said yes. But, I was stuck with Dave’s father’s stick shift. Mind you, I can drive a stick shift. Or at least, I could back in high school. I’m not sure what happened over a 15 year span, but let’s just say…I’m a little rusty. Highway action was fine, but when I finally got back to DC, blame it on being hungover from the wedding, blame it on exhaustion, whatever…I was stalling all over the place. To make matters worse, I had to parallel park it at my place by backing uphill into the parking spot. This consisted of me finally edging in, but not far enough back. I was literally leveraging the car in front of me by using it to prevent me from rolling down the hill while I attempted to reverse, but not too fast for fear of hitting the car behind me. Before being on the verge of tears, I gave up and left the car parked way too close to (i.e. touching) the car in front of me and also way too far away from the curb (so pretty much in the middle of the road). Panicking that I wouldn’t be able to get out in the morning, I called Dave’s parents to see if they could come get the car. To no avail. I was left with the car and had to drive it to work the next morning. Which wouldn’t be a big deal except that I forgot the carrier was on top of the car. So picture Sara moseying along to work, no stalls yet at all so I’m happy. I peel into the parking garage at full speed, forgetting that the carrier is on top of the car, and not noticing how low the garage ceiling is. You see where this is going. Car goes into garage, car and carrier manage to somehow squeeze through the short distance between ground and ceiling. After I get into the garage, I think maybe some ice has fallen off the top and that’s what the odd noise was. But that’s when I realize….I just scraped the carrier on the top of the garage. Just awesome. I proceed to stall about 5 times before parking the car. Luckily no major damage and Dave’s parents were able to extract the vehicle and carrier from the garage without incident, and then the thing was out of my hair. Just some more fun in parking garages with Sara.

And with that, I will end this blog post. Guys, this wedding was so much fun. Weddings as of late have been fun, but it is hard to get such an anticipated celebration to actually live up to the hype. Well, this actually exceeded expectations. I am still amazed that so many of our friends were able to make the treck from all over for this awesome celebration. It was so great to have our family and friends all gathered in one place at the same time. In the words of Elle, “this wedding topped all Dewey trips and NYE 2009 combined.” I didn’t think that was possible. Thank you.

Did I get married? haha



February 6, 2013

I have no idea why that just popped into my head. But since it did, I figured I’d take a moment to capture the thought. What does “yelllo,” mean, you may ask? Valid question. My mother, to this day, sometimes still answers the phone with a long, drawn out “hello.” Except, it sounds more like:


I believe there was an episode on Seinfeld once wherein Elaine was guilty of the same thing. Although that should not really surprise anyone. Ant, a friend who gave a toast in my sister’s wedding two weekends ago, did tell the entire wedding reception that hanging out with the Barbers growing up was like living an episode of Seinfeld. Funny, because that same thought actually crosses my mind on an almost daily basis.

By golly, I have NO CLUE why that just popped into my head, but it did.

Anyway, I came on to the blog just now to copy and paste the link so a friend of mine, Elle, could read a classic: From Art Galleries to Raging Dance Parties. In our ongoing text messages back and forth, we were discussing the recent success we’ve had with eHarmony. Well, isn’t that funny. Surprisingly, I have some stories from good old eHarmony! Who would have thought?! Thinking about getting back on it, in all actuality. Why not? I haven’t given the online thing a shot in a hot minute. okcupid does not count; that’s more of a fake online dating site. No one pays for it so no one takes it seriously. Now, if I pay to meet a man, clearly I have a better chance of meeting a quality fellow who is also willing to pay to meet a woman. Meeting men in real life just hasn’t been working out for me as of late. So I will buy myself a man. And consider it a good investment.

What I Appreciate about Liv

August 19, 2012

Yesterday my little sister Liv got married to Bill. It was an amazing day, and I’m so happy for her. She was absolutely beautiful and they both looked so happy. Now as a maid of honor (MOH), I was requested to give a toast to the newleyweds at the reception. I was stumped on what to say up until the day before the event, when my other sister Jean brilliantly suggested that I just start writing a blog. Brilliant! Thank goodness for Jean. Otherwise the speech may not have come out as well as it did (I think). That being said, here is what I ended up with, after practicing and rewriting it about 50 times…

What I appreciate about Liv

  • [DJ hands me the mic] Thanks John
  • First of all I just want to take a minute to thank everyone for being here today to celebrate the marriage of Liv and Bill. It was a beautiful day.
  • Now Liv, Jean and I are very close, and growing up over the years; we’ve obtained a number of stories as you can probably imagine. Having so many stories, I was finding it difficult to pick some and then tie them all together into a common theme. What I finally ended up deciding was to share with you just a few things that I admire and appreciate about Liv.

1)   The first is that she is the least ditzy Barber [fake last name]. Since the three of us are so close, we have mutual friends who decided that ever year or so, it would be fun to vote on who the ditziest Barber is. Keep in mind that we are not including my father here, he’s not very ditzy. Nor are we including my mother, as she wins hands down (sorry Mom). But if we are comparing the three of us, to Liv’s credit, she frequently gets the least amount of votes.

2)   Secondly, I really admire her ability to stay fit. Growing up, she would stay fit by doing things for her older sisters. Any time Jean and I needed to do something but didn’t want to do it, whether it be unloading the dishwasher, getting a glass of water, walking the dog, the way we’d persuade her to do it would be “if you do it, you’ll get skinnier.” And without a doubt, it always got her and she’d do what we asked. This began Liv’s working out days. As you can probably see just by looking at her, she participates in many activities to stay fit. I think Jean and I can take some of the credit for that.

3)   Liv has a diverse background. To this day, we are still not sure if she’s adopted. She frequently gets mistaken for Asian. You may notice that Jean and I look alike, but Liv looks like…well, no one (except maybe my Mom). So not only does she not look like us, she appears to be of a different race. Her diversity and ability to appreciate different cultures is even captured in her meal choice for this event – nutty Asian salmon. A recent story; she was walking down the hall at school (she teaches kindergarten in Cromwell for those of you who don’t know), and heard someone calling after her “Miss Wong, Miss Wong!” For whatever reason, Liv’s initial Asian instinct was to respond to this, so she turned around, shook the woman’s hand and only then proceeded to explain that no, she was not Miss Wong, she was Miss Barber.

4)   Finally, Liv truly understands what is important in life. I’ve been living in Washington, DC for about eight years now. When I first moved down, Liv and Jean would frequently come visit me and we’d have a blast. And by “a blast,” I mean we’d party a lot. Jean liked it so much that she moved down, but we never could get Liv to fully commit. At one point, we thought we almost had her, but then she met Bill, and wanted to see where it led. Well, it led us here. Here where she really should be, not out partying with her sisters, but with the man she loves starting the beginning of the rest of her life. Liv is truly happy, and I am so happy that she’s found the man of her dreams in Bill. They really do compliment one another. Bill is a great guy who I know will take care of her as he loves her very much.

And with that said, I would like to offer a toast –

To Liv and Bill. That their friendship grows throughout the years, that they continue to love and respect one another, and that they are successfully able to overcome adversity that will only make them stronger.

holiday travel

November 22, 2011

I’m officially in vacation mode already, even though I’m not leaving for Thanksgiving until early Thursday morning. Office is relatively quiet, workload is light, and all is calm. Ha – I say that, as I just got called into a 6pm meeting.

Anyway, UBG is taking it to the streets and hitting up Chicago in a few weeks. I have never really done Chi-town, so I’m excited. To that regard, I just booked a hotel for the weekend, and received this note in response:

Well hello there Sara,

We’ve received your reservation and wanted to ask if you’d like anything special while you’re with us? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to provide whatever you want, whenever you want it. Give us a call, your wish is our command.

Really. Whatever I want, whenever I want???!! This sounds too good to be true. I’ll give them a call beforehand and ask them to have a few hot men lined up in the room surrounded by rose petals. That would work out nicely.

On a related front, congrats to my sis Jean and future brother-in-law Dave on their engagement. If you didn’t know, these two were the inspiration for this blog, and to that I am unendingly grateful. Without you, A Day in the Life of Sara would not be possible. Super happy for them, and also fairly impressed with my ring size guessing ability. Lot’s of weddings coming up in 2012. Tis the year of the wedding.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be traveling in style on First Class via the Acela. Don’t even ask how I managed to finagle this deal, but I’m pumped. Since wi-fi is now available on Amtrak, maybe I’ll grace you with a blog post along the way. Similar to when I was riding on the Preferred Car in Spain. Those were the days.

Enjoy family, friends, food, and fun! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. 🙂


housing situation update

October 11, 2011

• Retracted deposit put down in Columbia Heights because realized the unit was too expensive at $2000+. Won’t be able to take vaca in South America as planned with that kind of rent.
• Gave notice at current apartment.
• Did research and people said the low-income housing building (mentioned in previous post) is fine to live in and they know of others who live there with no problems.
• Told owner of more expensive apartment in that complex ($1900) that I want to move in. He seemed to want me.
• Since bugs crawled on me in bed two weeks ago, I’ve been sleeping on couch with all lights on. Not the most comfortable or restful sleeping situation. Woke up this morning with incredibly painful left shoulder. Last week, lower back pain. Average amount of sleep per night – 5 hours. Barely functional. Work product suffering.
• In attempt to get sleep and because family was in town anyway, stayed with sister (Jean) all weekend. Sad that I was looking forward to sleeping on an air mattress for three nights, but amazing not having to worry about bugs crawling on me.
• Put out roach bait in kitchen and near bed prior to staycation at Jean’s.
• Lament at not having boyfriend in this critical time, in which I could stay at his place. Where is he when I need him?
• Current landlord ignored my notice to vacate (and phone calls) for five days before deciding to respond last night, saying that 11/5 move-out date is fine.
• Brought parents who were visiting to the Meridian Hill drum circle. On the way there, we walked down the low-income housing unit street to check out the neighborhood. Notice burnt out car in front of apartment. People smoking weed on the side of my building. Run into the girl renting the other unit in the same building for $1800. She probably thinks I’m stalking her. She tells me she’s still mulling over applications too. I must appear delirious to these people.
• I haven’t seen a roach in almost two weeks, since the last one decided to visit me in bed. Did I overreact too soon? Maybe I should see if they are gone for good. Will ask around and see if anyone else has seen any.
• Still no word from management about pest control cause they suck. Would my landlord let me stay now after I already gave notice to vacate?
• Called yesterday and $2000+ CoHi apartment is still available if I want it. I love having options.
• Decided to look into roommate situation to save money. Met with gay guy who lives in a CoHi townhouse. He neglected to mention that he smokes in the house, “but only downstairs.” Said he’s not willing to negotiate that. Seriously? He took me upstairs to the guest bedroom in which I noticed a black leather sex bed hanging from the ceiling. Not sure my mother would approve of that. He also has a tanning bed in the office for one of his former lovers. Decide again, as I always do upon looking for housing, that a roommate situation is not going to work for me. At least I only wasted time meeting with one person before coming to this decision again.
• Pick up boric acid and caulking agent at Ace Hardware in the event I decide to stay in Roachville.
• Low-income housing guy ($1900 apartment) says he’s still mulling over applications after it seemed as though he wanted me last week.
• Meeting with a guy I met at drum circle tonight to hopefully get advice on what to do. He’s apparently in the rental/housing business and has advice. He really just wants to get into my pants, but at this point maybe I’ll take him up on the offer. This is the same guy whose phone call I ignored about a month ago, not knowing he was watching me ignore the call. Forgot to blog about that.
• CoHi $2000+ apartment just called. Says the unit is still available. I have a good feeling about the place, maybe I should just go for it. Asked him to see if rent is negotiable at all; he will get back to me tomorrow. Even though I will be living off Ramen Noodles, at least I won’t have cockroaches crawling on me while I sleep.
• When did the DC housing market become so insane?


September 21, 2011

Happy anniversary to my loving parents, Mom and Dad. 38 years of marriage today, my father tells me. Somehow, I forget their anniverary every year. Luckily I happened to call home today and my father reminded me. I am a bad, bad daughter. Love you guys. 🙂

Easter weekend summary

April 25, 2011

Hello readers. And how is everyone doing? How was Easter weekend for you all? Mine was fun. Went home to good old Connecticut to spend some QT with the fam, always a lively bunch. Here are some highlights:

Bright and early Friday morning I was able to help install a new refrigerator for the parental units. As I’m overseeing the movers installing the fridge, a random dog walks into the house. I look up and there is a panting springer spaniel in front of me. Later I found out that it was a neighbor’s dog. Slightly amusing.

While at home I was also blessed with the opportunity to view my father’s newly claimed artwork. This is not a joke. It is hanging on the wall.


Yes, that is a tissue coming out of the nose. Does everyone have such amusing family members?

Going home is usually fairly chill and relaxing, a nice break from city life if you will. A time to revive my liver and get some much needed R&R. This time I went on a few runs, hung out with friends from home, and spent time with family which is always nice. In fact at one point I noticed I hadn’t left the house in 3 days. And I was totally fine with that.

At one point a friend was over visiting, we’ll call her Ant, and a discussion ensued about her idea to do the Amsterdam half marathon in October. I asked some questions and sounded generally interested, given that I wanted to travel for a half marathon sometime anyway. But when I say travel, I mean Napa Valley or somewhere in the US. In no way did I intend to do my first half in Amsterdam. Jokingly I thought, Ant said she’d sign me up later that day. Sure enough, a few hours later I got the notification that she had just paid 46 euro (no small dime) to sign me up for the race. Seriously? Who does that? Ant. Ant does that. So apparently I’m doing a half marathon in October.

See you in Amsterdam.