on giving up the ghost

Despite how it trails me everywhere, despite that the email address still forwards to me, despite that I still occasionally introduce myself incorrectly, the truth is that I am no long Maggie Emma Thomas.

As such, it's time to retire this blog, whose very name is no longer correct.

You can find our new one over at BookofKellers.wordpress.com.

Maggie Keller


on not being that woman

You guys. The silence. It's inexcusable. Especially because 1 month ago today, I got married.

And I'm sorry. And I promise that we're going to blog about the ceremony (which was oh, so holy and worshipful and community-focused and exactly what we'd hoped for) and the reception (which was staggeringly, breathtaking beautiful thanks to my talented mother and her talented crew) and the honeymoon (which was warm and relaxing and long).

But today I need to laugh, and I need you to laugh with me.

So yesterday I was tooling around on Pinterest, the website which proves that women are, in fact, visual creatures. And while I was on Pinterest, I saw this picture:

Don't those look delicious? The simple caption beneath the photo read "Apples + cinnamon + oven @ 200 degrees = homemade apple chips."

So I turned to Jon, who was reading beside me (how great is married life?), and said: "I think I'll make these tonight with the leftover apples from our wedding." Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I sliced up the apples and arranged them just so on our cookie tray with our silpat pan liner (love!). I went to grab the cinnamon out of the cupboard when I realized we have no cinnamon. However, I'd received a Penzey's spice box decorated with whole cinnamon sticks (shower gifts for the win). I pulled out our the-holes-are-too-small-to-be-a-decent cheese grater and went to work. When that proved nearly impossible, I turned to the Magic Bullet (Ashley knows me so well) and pulverized those pieces. I sprinkled my fresh gourmet ground cinnamon on my apple slices. So certain was I of my imminent success, I saved the rest in a jar to used on future apple chip endeavors.

As I popped the tray of soon-to-be apple chips into the oven, I hugged Jon and remarked smugly, "I might just become one of those women, y'know, the kind who grind their own cinnamon and bake their own apple chips." What I meant was "I might just become the Pioneer Woman."

Okay stop laughing.

I was supposed to flip the chips after an hour. I forgot about them amidst folding laundry and got to them after 1:15. Half were already burned beyond repair and the other half, my ever-loving Cortlands, had been reduced to dry-on-the-outside-applesauce-flesh-on-the-inside apple-ish-kind-of rings.

Together, Jon and I sorted through the chips tasted every one, determining whether it was edible. I threw away many that were too brown to even talk about.

As I cleaned up the kitchen, I turned to Jon and said, defeated, "Guess I'm not that woman after all."

He just smiled, kissed me, and said "Not yet."



I am getting married tomorrow.

That is all.


the best RSVP

We received a negative RSVP yesterday from someone who was not invited to the wedding.

And it was the best RSVP ever.

Let me back up [quite] a bit: In the summer of 2008, I worked part-time as an editorial intern at this publishing house. I learned a lot that summer, namely, that I did not want to work as an editor. I like ending sentences with prepositions too much for that.

I wrote a lot about those experiences here on this blog, which was brand new that summer. I wrote about forgetting what time to show up on the first day and rearranging bookstore shelves to showcase our books and proofreading an omnibus and then the end of it all.

I also did a lot of reading that summer. One of my favorites that summer was the book Danny Gospel by David Athey. And then David Athey came to the office one day and I met him. It was a fascinating conversation, one I will never forget, and reminded me how spiritual an experience writing is for me and for others like me.

Back to yesterday: we received an RSVP from David Athey. A negative RSVP to the apple picking afternoon. In the comments he wrote the following, which has blessed me every time I read it:
Hey Maggie, In appreciation for the kind words you wrote about me on your blog, I would like to send you a copy of my new novel for a wedding gift. God bless you and Jon! Kind regards, David Athey
It was remarkable and exciting, and I'm really looking forward to reading (and reviewing!) his new novel.


keeping it light

If one thing has come to light in the process of planning this wedding, it's that I am NOT a details girl. Not even hardly. You want that place card? No problem. Invitations should include that information? You got it. I should be here, at that time, meeting with that person? Sure thing.

Mi madre, on the other hand, is Queen of All Details. This event is of utmost importance to her. And as we've previously established, I'm more excited to be married than to get married. Which is why mom is an invaluable member of this team. Definitely more useful than me. And I am so grateful for her efficiency, her attention to detail, her organization, and her savvy negotiating.

She's also really fun to mess with. ("with which to mess"?)

It all started with the wedding website. There's a place to suggest songs for the dance, and the very first suggestion we got was from "Audrey Thomas." She suggested the song C'est la vie by Bob Seger and commented, "It really gets me moving." Turns out, my dad was the mastermind behind that one and wrote my Mom's name on the suggestion. Classic dad move. Hilarious.

Ten days ago, I forwarded Mom a proof of our wedding invite, as designed by the one and only Sean Rubin (Jon's best man/best friend). The copy read like this:

Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Thomas
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Communications Director at Rivendell Sanctuary
and member of the Screen Actors' Guild
Margaret Emma
Jonathan McCrary Keller
CEO of MNY Group, LLC
and son of Rev. Dr. & Mrs. John Keller

Ooh, we got her good. She shared it with my dad, too, and at first blush, they figured it was a joke. They let it soak in a minute and then, so they tell me, shared a horrified exchange that went something like: "They're joking, right?" "What if they're serious?" "No, it has to be a joke." "Wait, but what if it's not?"

Oh we're so bad. So mean. Of course it was a joke. We would never. But it was hilarious.

And then today happened. Sean got her again. He designed everything for our invitations, including the insert cards. He sent us a proof today for a new one that read:

Make the Celebrations Stop!
Feel free to nap on your bar stool,
delirious from exhaustion
Chili's Express
MSP Airport, 5pm Saturday
Hosted by Jeff Richmond-Moll and Sean Rubin
First person to arrive please claim a table.

It was hilarious, and what I've come to learn is a classic Sean move. Jon forwarded it to Mom, and we got her again. She now says she can hardly wait to meet Sean, as he seems like quite the jokester.

Sean, this is why we love you.
And Mom, this is how we show you we love you. Thanks for being such a gracious good sport! ;)