MLB and I recently celebrated six months of wedded bliss (which means we've been married now for about a third of the length of time we were engaged, but still, it's a milestone). Someone asked us recently how long it takes to recover from a wedding like ours, and the answer is: We don't know. We're still ordering albums and mailing off the final thank-you notes and believe it or not, gifts still trickle in from time to time. We just threw out the last of the top layer of our cake (I know you're supposed to keep it in the freezer to eat on your first anniversary, but after reviewing the state of what was left during a recent freezer purge, we decided it would be better to part ways. If we decide we want cake for our first anniversary, we'll buy a new one).
Still, we're definitely on the downhill side of wedding wind-down, which means that my thoroughly-documented full-time year-and-a-half-long
obsession hobby has more or less come to an end. Now that wedding planning is over and I've started to get the hang of being married, it's time for a new project in a new year. (Besides, you know, my job and my eye shadow blog and learning to be a writer again.)
I didn't have to think too long about what it would be.
I love Martha Stewart. I'm not ashamed to admit it. She's given me something to aspire to since I first picked up her magazine close to 20 years ago. Martha makes me believe it's possible to do everyday things beautifully. She validates me when I go through occasional fits of mania and want to do things like alphabetize my spices and sew dust bags for all my shoes. (Disclaimer: I have done only one of those things, and it was not recently.) And she provided me with a significant amount of much-needed moral support during the wedding planning process.
Some people think Martha sets unrealistic standards that none of us can ever meet, and sure, there's some merit to that. I mean, looking at her monthly calendar in the magazine makes me break out in a cold sweat of inadequacy:
"Clean and oil saddles"? "Bring a bowl of fresh eggs to the office"? Where's the day for "Lie on the couch with a box of crackers and watch an entire 'America's Next Top Model' marathon"? Let's just say Maia's Month and Martha's Month bear little resemblance to one another.
On the other hand, there are lots of dreamy Martha Stewart projects that are attainable, or even deceptively easy. Like this cake topper, which appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings years ago, and which occupied the File Away For Future Wedding folder in my creative subconscious for years:
And which I then used as the basis for my own wedding cake topper, which turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself:
And now that I'm old and married and not working long, exhausting hours anymore, I'm ready to fully embrace Martha's influence. Throughout 2012, I'll be undertaking a variety of Martha Stewart projects — at least one from each issue of the magazine, and additional projects from MarthaStewart.com. (You can preview some of the possibilities on my Living Marthalously Pinterest board.) I expect that some of these projects will be epic fails, some will be raging successes, and many will have to be adapted to allow for the fact that I don't live in a Westport farmhouse with a full staff. And of course, I'll share the results here on Own The Sidewalk, where 2012 is the Year of Living Marthalously.