One To Nothin'

The Rainbow Farm


Some people get into Animal Crossing during quarantine, we decided to start a real life Rainbow Farm instead. 

Everyone, please meet the newest babies in our family: our three-month-old puppy, Leon (short for Leonidas).
Leon is the friendliest, floppiest, sweetest little baby lion with the sharpest teeth. He loves water and sitting in the fridge more than any creature I've ever met. He already weighed 21 lbs when we adopted him a few weeks ago, so I'm pretty sure he's weighing in at around 30 lbs now. We are absolutely obsessed with every little thing he does, and I even started TikTok-ing because now I have endless material (follow me @mackensierainbow if you want puppy content).
And these are our three one-week-old chicks, Nugget, Gee, and Biv (if we get another, she'll be Roy, duh).
Jason has wanted chickens for as long as I've known him, and after spending time with my mom's hens he was even more excited. So for his birthday I took him to Rural King (yep, we in the south now) to pick out some babies. We have about six weeks before we need to move them to a coop, so for now we're just keeping them under a lamp and far away from the dogs.

Besides taking in allll the cute animals, we've been cleaning, painting, putting furniture together and literally nesting in this house. Many people have asked if we're homeowners now, and the answer is no, but we are renting this house from my sister who owns it, so we don't feel like the work we put into it will be a waste. I'm excited to show before and afters once we slowly but surely get this place filled out. 

Now that it's furnished enough for everyday living, however, I guess we need to get on the wedding planning train. We are six months out from our wedding date, and while I've been avoiding it because I'm afraid we'll have to postpone, we gotta be ready for anything (we haven't even seen our venue IRL yet). This isn't exactly the way I imagined our wedding planning season to go, but just trying to take it a day at a time and remember how lucky we are to be near family and have each other at this scary ass time. 

I hope you're all going easy on yourselves, staying safe, and focusing on the good.




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How We Met



Lately, the thing people want to know most is how we got engaged (and/or why we moved to Florida), but the second-most-asked question is, “How did you meet?” And while the easiest (read: most boring) answer is, “Tinder,” the truth is a bit more convoluted.

Let me set the scene for you:

The year is 2017 and I had *just* downloaded a dating app to distract myself from a breakup when I swiped right on a handsome British journalist. His profile was pretty sparse, but I knew he had recently moved to California from Hong Kong, he was into space, and he wasn’t smiling in any of his photos. Despite my irrational fear that he had an Austin-Powers-esque grill, I agreed to meet him at a cute natural wine bar in Oakland.

My Uber dropped me off across the street, so with my heart in my throat, I made eye contact with the brunette sitting outside, hoping he was my date, as I waited for the crosswalk to count down. He recognized me, smiled with all his beautiful teeth, and we decided to turn the first meeting into a full-on bar crawl. We had one drink at each bar/restaurant on Grand Avenue until we discovered The Alley, a grungy, quirky piano bar with business cards literally covering all the walls that I’d somehow never discovered before that night. The bar crawl ended there because it instantly became my favorite bar in Oakland and we stayed until they kicked us out.

Needless to say, we had the best first date ever, but since this was the first person I’d even gone out with after a breakup, I was skeptical. I agreed to a second date, but my brain was already spinning. In the past I jumped into relationships too quickly and too often, so I felt like I couldn’t possibly date the first guy I matched with just out of principle. Plenty of fish in the sea, and all that crap. So I explained via text that I’d prefer to just be friends, and he graciously agreed.*

We lost touch after a few months and I went on to play the field. He did the same, and even though we only lived a mile away from each other and had a lot of hobbies and even a few friends in common, somehow we never accidentally crossed paths.

Finally after almost a year of bad dates, repeatedly deleting the apps, and declaring to my roommates that love was definitively deceased, I found myself back at The Alley, this time with one of my best friends, Devyn.

We had just imbibed in $5 all-you-can-drink sake, and I was feeling bold so I slurred, “THIS is the bar I was at the last time I had a good date. I’VE ONLY HAVE ONE GOOD DATE IN A YEAR.” 
"Ok, so what did you do to f*ck it up?” she asked, also sassy from obscene amounts of sake.**
“Idk, I just thought it was too soon..?”
“We’re texting him.”
“Noooo what would I even say?!”

So we devised a plan. We took a photo of the inside of the bar that we knew would be recognizable and drafted a text together. Something along the lines of, “I’m at The Alley! Thinking of you. How have you been?”

Smooth, right? But it worked.

Thank the good lord, he wrote back very quickly and asked if I was free to hang out that Friday. I was, and we ended up at The Alley again, except this time when we left we didn’t spend a moment apart for 15 months and then he asked me to be his wife.

*A little advice for my single ladies: if you want to know what a guy is really like, tell him you just want to be friends after an amazing date. It’s telling. 
**Sending a MASSIVE thank you to Devyn for calling me out on my shit and for not letting me miss this opportunity just because rejection is scary. I like to think Jason and I would have found each other again no matter what, but I’m so grateful that the timing was literally perfect for both of us on that fateful night. Even though I hate knowing that we could have spent that first year together and didn’t, I hate the thought that I could’ve messed it up because of poor timing even more. Love works in mysterious ways, my friends.
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Looks Like We Made It


You guys, that was some kind of adventure.

We started driving to Florida about two minutes before the Shelter In Place order came through for the Bay Area. So not only did we pack our lives into my car while it was pouring rain (for the first time in months), but a house nearby also caught fire, so driving out of Oakland in a pandemic that day truly felt like the apocalypse.

WILD.

But we’re here! We went through several bottles of hand sanitizer and drove about 12 hours a day (even our meals were eaten inside the car) so we got a nice jumpstart on our Quarantine 15. I know you’re jeally #weddingbods

 But seriously, with all the terrible news and anxiety-ridden everything, I’m trying to focus on the good, the gratitude, the goofy. Like, the fact that we made it to Florida safely and healthily, our kombucha SCOBY is happy in its own cupboard, the bizarre spider plant pictured above only lost a few limbs on the journey, I got my hair cut right before we started driving, and I finally got to watch Frozen 2 last night (so good).

 I’m incredibly relieved to be reunited with my family even if I can’t hug them. I had no idea COVID-19 would have this kind of impact, and I’m v v grateful that we got here just in time.

My people are being cautious, staying home, and staying healthy even though it's REALLY hard, and I really hope you all are too.

 What are you feeling grateful for lately?
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We're leaving California!

Seven years ago I did the scariest thing of my life when I packed up all of my things and my dog into my car and drove across the country to start a new adventure in California. Since then I've experienced so much more than I ever could have imagined—breakups, lay-offs, promotions, friendships, losses, excitement, loneliness, fires, earthquakes, break-ins, incredible kindness, unthinkable hatred, the most amazing food/concerts/events/cocktails, and some of the most breath-taking scenery I've ever seen. I landed an awesome job, found the love of my life, made lifelong friendships, and now it's time for me to return to my swampy roots.

This weekend I'm packing up my life and driving back to Florida, except this time with a 10-year-old dog and a fiancée. We're not sure when or where we'll go next, but this season is all about family, wedding planning (content coming soon!), and reuniting Ziggy with her long-lost sister, Scout (my parents' dog). It feels like I wrote this post about why I don't miss Florida just yesterday, but I'm excited, nervous, and ready for all of it (mosquitos and all).

In case you're curious, here's a glimpse at my last year in California told one second at a time.

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OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY!!!!


If you follow me on social, you probably already know, but... I'M ENGAGED!!!!!

You guys, I have been dreaming of writing a post like this since I first started blogging (aka when my friends first started getting married ha), and I dreamt of how it would happen for far longer than that, so here we are. A post that's about 30 years in the making. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS REAL. 



Here's how it happened:

J and I flew into Florida late the Friday before Christmas, so I spent the next couple of days watching Christmas movies, decorating gingerbread cookies, and introducing him to ALL my childhood friends. Since we'd been full-on with the fam for a few days, I was only a *little* suspicious when my sister said she wanted us to have a sister date to get our nails done, but I didn't want to get my hopes up so I kept my mouth shut. Jason stayed back to "get work done," so I was slightly confused to return to him and my dad drinking the good whiskey and bonding on the couch. It all seems very obvious that he was using this time to ask permission now, but at the time I was just like, "Okay, help me make dinner now."

The next day was the 24th, and we take Christmas activities very seriously in my family, so after watching "The Snowman" (introduced by David Bowie) and convincing my mom to read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" out loud to all of us, we started making our traditional Christmas Eve meal: spamburgers. Yes, you read that correctly. They're delicious, trust. So naturally you can't make spamburgers on Christmas Eve without wine, so I went to get the large bottle of rosé (like 2 liters large) out of the fridge and somehow managed to drop it directly on top of my foot, splattering pink liquid, blood, and shattered glass all over the kitchen. Classic.

I learned later that this is when J started panicking and coming up with Plan B, but at the time I was just hoping I didn't ruin Christmas, so I got bandaged up, changed out of my blood-soaked pants, and carried on with the games Britni planned for the evening (note: it hurt like a mofo). First up was trivia, then charades, and then caroling in the back of my dad's truck. Brit had been planning all this for weeks, so at this point I was not the least bit suspicious. I was just hobbling around with an ice pack on my foot and singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs. After Brandy crushed us all in trivia, we headed to the living room for charades.



Right away my mom started recording everyone's performance, so I wasn't weirded out when, several rounds in, it was Jason's turn and there were three cameras recording him all at once. I was just tipsy enough to only be concerned with guessing the answers correctly. I should've noticed he was staring directly at me as he mimed out the following:

*J starts making hand signals*

Me: "...Four words!" "First word... One syllable.. Sounds like... stab? Kill? KILL!" "...Still? Will? WILL!"

"Fourth word!" 

*J points to himself*

"Me? ME!" 

"Second word!"

*J points to me*

"YOU!" "WILL YOU SOMETHING ME!"

*thinking to self: what Christmas movie is will you something me? Strange*

"Third word!" 

*J gestures for me to come up to join him*

"Is this allowed?"

*I hesitantly join him on "stage"*

*J mimes putting a ring on my finger*

*thinking to self: WHAT IS HAPPENING*

"Marry?"

Britni: "PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER"

Grandma: "WILL YOU MARRY ME!!!!"

*thinking to myself: there's no movie called will you marry me.......*

Me: "...will you...marry me..?"

Jason: "Yes."

*J gets down on one knee and says sweet things*

My nephew: YAY! UNCLE JASON!!!!

I black out and ugly cry and say yes a million times and admire this gorgeous ring and drink champagne and cry some more. 

Later on we realized we had no idea what the slip of paper J picked out actually said because of course he didn't read it. Some of the prompts were "Die Hard," "three wise men," and "snowman," so we were excited to find out he picked "Mrs. Claus," the ONLY one that was even remotely related to marriage. Meant. To. Be. 



I'm so glad my family was there. I'm so glad he picked me. I'm so glad he's excellent at picking out jewelry (we did not look at rings together!!). 

And I'm so glad I get to be a RAINBOW. 

I love you so much, Jason.

This was truly the best Christmas ever.
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