November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thank you, from our wedding, in bullets:
  • For loving us
  • For being there
  • For speaking up
  • For supporting us
  • For taking care of the details
  • For taking incredible pictures
  • For giving the best hugs (repeatedly)
  • For that hug you said came from my dad
  • For coming even though you weren't comfortable
  • For expertly taking over set up and for staying to help clean
  • For commenting on your 4 year old's widening view of what makes a family
  • For proving to us just how big our family truly is. Thank you.

November 22, 2009


Last Monday we drove from DC (where we stayed) to a little town in Connecticut. There were narrow streets, tall trees, red bricks with white trim and a sweet older woman in the Town Clerks office who lit up when we said we were there to apply for our marriage license. We filled out our paperwork, held up our right hands to swear all the information was true then headed to a little park nearby to be married. We found a kind, slightly kooky officiant on the internets. She'd had a computer melt-down and so led us through our vows thanks to gmail and my black.berry. It felt so different from what we experienced the Saturday before. We worked for a year for what we had last Saturday. Surrounded by our families and friends, flowers, decorations and the results of lots and lots of work. It was incredible, hectic, fun, emotional and completely unforgetable. Monday in Connecticut was just us, the Rev. and those hum-drum legalities everyone takes for granted. I'm so thankful to have had both experiences.

So now we've been married twice. Once in the eyes of our friends, family and any higher ups who may be watching then again in the eyes of the state of Connecticut. I can only hope and pray that someday it'll spread. The queers will take over and eventually our marriage will be legal everywhere, without question or exception. Until then, we'll busy ourselves with wills, power of attorney documents and name changes.

November 15, 2009


I lived in Maryland from age 15-18. I wasn't thrilled with moving or being on the other side of the country from everything and everyone I've ever known. But one thing I did love about this part of the country was autumn. We're back here now, in DC, for our honeymoon. Strangely, we're here not just because we'd wanted to visit DC together, but also because I have a professional conference at the end of this week which makes this trip financially possible. The trees are incredible, the weather is beautiful. I couldn't imagine a better time to visit this part of the country (except possibly when the cherry trees bloom). Tomorrow we head to Connecticut for wedding #2 - the legal version.

As for wedding #1, I'm still wading through amazing pictures and trying to put it all into words.

[picture by me]

November 9, 2009


We got married Saturday. It was perfect and amazing so that I can hardly stand to write about it. I will though, soon, so I don't forget a single moment (as if I could).

Photos by Mary Sledd...certainly more to come.

October 6, 2009

Almost There

We're mostly moved in. Most of our furniture and boxes are at least in the proper room. Most of the discarded packing paper has been bagged up and tossed in the garage. Most of the blinds have been hung. I'm mostly happy with our new house. There's almost enough cabinet space and almost enough natural light.

Everyone warned me of buyers remorse. And sure enough, after a few days of this is our house euphoria, remorse has set in. I drive by blocks and blocks of old houses on my new commute and they make me a little sad. Even the ones that are a bit run down have enormous trees and countless windows. They probably have original wood floors, weird nooks in the kitchen and cabinets and telephone shelves built into the hall. Of course that's along with their cast iron pipes and shifting East Austin foundations.

Then I remember that our house doesn't require fixing. The yard is great big and Dog already loves it. Dog and Little Cat also love thundering up and down the stairs. We've met our friendly neighbors across the street who told us about the farm we can walk to for fresh veggies, eggs and milk. I'm quite sure the remorse will fade as we get everything unpacked and all the empty boxes go the way of craigslist. I'm a certified nester and when my nest is in disarray I am too.

Picture: Big Cat feels about the same way about moving as I do. She spent almost 2 days in that cabinet.

September 29, 2009

Done and Done

As of about 1:30 this afternoon we are officially homeowners.

September 22, 2009

Adoption Day

I watched a family being born today.

Just after Spring Break of 2008 a giant, fussy 6 month old girl joined my infant class. She was restless, overfed and developmentally behind. Along with her foster family, we got to know her and over the next year and a half we watched her grow into a noisy, joyful and incredibly opinionated toddler. She went weekly to visit her birth mother who worked desperately to earn back her daughter. In August 2009, to everyone's surprise, birth mom and dad gave up rights to their little girl. I cried when foster-dad shared this news. Cried over all that birth mom and dad overcame and the maturity it took to acknowledge where this little girl belonged.

Today was her adoption hearing. Mom, dad and big brother beamed, cried and squirmed while little miss ran circles around the courtroom visiting laps and squealing at the attention. The room was filled with family, friends and caregivers all dabbing eyes and sniffling as the adoption lawyer talked about her forever home. After formalities, the judge brought big brother and new little sister to the bench where they banged the gavel and became a real live family.

The best part, a new middle name specially picked by big brother: Sunshine. Happy Adoption Day little miss Sunshine.

flickr: Travis County Courthouse

September 15, 2009

Almost Autumn

I took a walk this morning. It was cool and overcast and that perfect kind of weather that threatens fall. I know it's a fluke, and it will be back in the 90's before the week is through. But this morning, in the pre-autumn breeze, I mailed our wedding invitations. Handfuls at a time into the weathered blue mailbox outside Nau's Drug Store where Mary and I used to get burgers and bill them to Sledd Nursery across the street.

Then I walked back to work, slowly, and opened my office window to let in a little early fall.

September 10, 2009

The View

After months of fighting with old homes we gave up. It's obviously not the right time for us to buy a project house. Almost overnight we shifted to the opposite end of the spectrum. We are officially buying a brand-spankin'-new, never been lived in house. We've both spent a few days mourning the idea of what we wanted. We're now working harder than ever to think of what we can do to make this new house a home and how we can make sure it reflects who we are. It's really the practical decision and we're increasingly excited about it. We never imagined we'd have so much space or such a large yard. The location is remarkably convenient and there are real live trees that are more than a year old. The particular subdivision we're moving to kept as many of the original elms and oaks as they could. We have two slightly scraggly native elms (as pictured above, the view from our bedroom window) and a large, bushy persimmon.

This is the epitomy of a family home.

August 30, 2009

Practice Bouquet

Yesterday we drove out to Texas Specialty Cut Flowers to pick up flowers for our bouquet practice run. The farm has a market every Saturday where they sell their flowers and produce along with things like raw milk cheese and goats milk lotion from neighboring farms. This weekend everything was self serve. There was a cash box and a calculator and a big sign requesting that people respect the honor system. We did, of course. We picked our two big bunches of flowers, a Mexican Coke (read real sugar instead of high fructose corn crack) and left our money in the cash box. Because it was self serve we were limited to mixed bouquets, instead of individual flowers.

With the help of the kitty, I separated all the flowers and cleaned off the leaves. Then I just used lots of floral tape and worked in a circle just like the DIY ladies on told me too. The bouquet I made yesterday is more the size what the bridesmaids will have and includes zinnias, coxcomb, pampas plume and some little spikey purple things. I'm quite glad we ended up with the mixed flowers. I never would have considered coxcombs (they look like fuzzy brains!) but the color and texture really mix well with zinnias. I'm actually surprised at how structured and solid it ended up. I can't wait to make the real bouquets! All 8 of them...yikes.

August 27, 2009

Here Again

This is what the back patio on the potential house looked like yesterday afternoon. I'll save everyone from having to view the lovely stagnant water that is currently residing in the abandoned septic tank that the plumber unearthed yesterday morning. Though I have pictures of that too. For posterity, of course. And proof. This would be the very same septic tank the seller swears up and down is not in fact a septic tank and also swears that it has been filled with dirt. If by dirt they mean dirty water then they're right on. If not...then we have a problem. The house also failed the static plumbing test which means there's a leak somewhere in the sewer pipe. Awesome. Seems that putting cast iron plumbing directly into concrete is a really fantastic idea...until it isn't. Especially when jack-hammering up the middle of the living room floor becomes the only solution. Fortunately the plumber thinks the leak is above the slab, probably a drain trap from one of the showers which requires much less jack-hammer action to fix. This is assuming the sellers are willing to approve the work. Their agent is on vacation all week (!!) and our option period ends Monday. It's a shame this process is so horribly boring.

August 21, 2009


Things seem to be progressing on the house front. As expected, the FHA appraisal came in well below the contracted price. Amazingly, the sellers are taking it and we've actually come to a negotiation that will work for everyone. I was beginning to think that wasn't even possible in the home buying world. So we'll do final inspections next week and pray that we don't find something that wasn't found in the other 2 inspections done earlier this year. Our projected close date is September 15th, and since I hear that closing is even more stressful the the rest of the process there will be no collective sighs of relief. Not yet. Until then we'll busy busy ourselves with packing and working on our list and trying not to loose all touch with the rest of the world.

It's easy to get so sucked into the vortex of wedding planning and home buying and "omg we have so much to do!" that we forget about those people around us who make us happy. This weekend we're beach bound with friends (and 2 of my favorite almost 2 year olds) after game night with other friends. We'll recharge our batteries with IBC Root Beer, board games, sand castles & sunshine and we'll be ready Monday morning to resume the maddness.

Picture: Our soon-to-be long hallway

August 17, 2009

To Do

We're reaching that critical count down oh so quickly. It's been almost a year since I started devouring wedding blogs. The first of which was It was so gratifying to watch Meg through her final countdown, maintaining her perspective and having a grand ol' time. I can only hope to stay so zen in the coming months.

Here's my current 'must finish by the end of August' list:
  • Finish the invitations (thanks to assembly line style help from Al & Angela 9/12)
  • Design and make the programs (so far this has involved lots of cursing at both Photoshop and my printer which has suddenly decided that it's anti-cardstock)
  • Reprint the RSVP inserts which have the wrong website address...oops (also thanks to help from Al & Angela)
  • Finish my organza flower hairpiece
  • Finish the organza flower corsages
  • Finish bridesmaid oak leaf necklaces
  • Make a trip out to the Arnosky's farm when it is actually open and get flowers for a bouquet trial run (done! 8/29)
Diana has her very own to-do list:
  • Stamp all the velum envelope liners
  • Finish ripping all of her million CD's so she can make the song list for the day
  • At least figure out if not purchase and have altered clothes for the big day (yay! done 8/19)
And finally we must:
  • Write the ceremony
  • Finalize the text for our wedding certificate (emailed to Steph who's making our gorgeous wedding certificate)
  • Complete premarital counseling
  • Finalize details for wedding #2 in Connecticut
Ok. Maybe it will be our 'must finish by mid-September' lists. We'll see. Unfortunately there's a whole different set of lists in the works for September so we'd better get to work!

August 13, 2009

3rd Times a Charm

Or 3 strikes you're out?

We're officially under contract on a new house. Part of me feels that we shouldn't count our chickens before they hatch, but they're not being counted so much as documented. This blog is as much for me as it is for the 3 other people who read it, so I want to document as much of this process as I can. We're fulling expecting to have appraisal issues again (darn you FHA) but hopefully this time we can work it to our advantage. The home itself is wonderful. Built in 1961, orange brick, oozing with old lady charm (ie: pink tile in the bathroom). It's begging for a few coats of paint and new flooring but otherwise fits us perfectly. And so we begin that painfully stressful countdown of the option period, where we throw money at inspectors and beg the sellers to fix just one more thing. And maybe, just maybe this time we'll make it to closing. Hopefully I won't spiral into complete insanity between now and September 15th.

August 11, 2009

Sunday & Pens

Since my dad passed away, Mom has spent much of her time rearranging and recovering and buying new furniture. The first thing she sent home with us was Dad's arm chair. I don't think she could stand to see it empty. Since then she has been slowly going through the condo passing on Dad's belongings. We've come home with several computers, a few hard drives, a modem and a printer. Once we move we'll be inheriting 3 7-foot bookcases and Dad's enormous sci-fi/fantasy first edition collection that currently resides in them (which we'll most likely sell the majority of). By no means do I think she's trying to erase him...I think this is her way of grieving and removing some of the day-to-day reminders (not to mention, she doesn't need 5 computers when she won't use PC's anyway).

I'm getting used coming home with boxes of Dad's left behinds....but I wasn't prepared for Sunday. Mom finally went through the desk in Dad's Ham Shack (N5UJ). My box included things like the cardboard kaleidescope I made him when I was 9 and the brass Texas Bicentenial belt buckle he wore anytime he wore blue jeans. It also included about half of his large pen collection. He treasured his pens. He used to tell me that he wrote too hard so using a fountain pen forced him to write gently. He always had one in his front shirt pocket. Always. He went through years of trying different pens to find the one he loved. His favorite for the last few years was a vanishing tip retractable fountain pen. I have two of them now. Along with the first fountain pen I remember him buying and several my Grandmother gave him when he started collecting. Maybe it's time to start caring about what I write with just as much as I care about what I write. Maybe I need to force myself to be more gentle and more intentional with my words. Maybe I still miss him an awful lot and wish he were here to guide us through this stressful home buying experience.

Instead I'll write with his pens and hope somehow I can channel a bit of his wisdom through the bright blue ink.

flickr: Namike Vanishing Point

August 9, 2009

Operation Invitation!

Operation Invitation! I resolved, on Saturday, that I would finish all the evil stamping and embossing that was making me crazy. And then I realized I didn't have enough velum (I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever had that problem). I've done everything I can do up to finishing the envelope liners...the official light at the end of the tunnel. Now to wait until Ho.bby Lo.bby marks packaged scrap booking paper half off. Here's the bits and pieces thus far:
- printed on our home computer on cream linen textured card stock then layered onto dark brown linen card stock
- the leaves are stamped in colored ink then embossed with clear embossing powder
- the envelopes are cream linen and lined with clear/white velum stamped with the same leaf stamp as the invitations
- the RSVP cards are just an insert with the website address of our 'website' where people RSVP as well as my phone number and the street address of the wedding location

- the back of both the invitation and RSVP insert is stamped with acorns in clear ink then embossed with clear embossing powder
Texture is really big for both of us and since we couldn't do letter press or raised print we relied on heavily textured paper and the clear embossing of the stamps. I'm thrilled with the results. They're very autumn a
nd very tactile.

I also realize that I mentioned the save the dates a while back but never posted them. I designed them in Ph.otoshop using one of the engagement portraits by Ms. Sledd then printed them through overnightprints. They have a shiny UV coating on the front and rounded edges. They were mailed in cream colored envelopes with different colored specks (they were on clearance at Offi.ce

After managing to remove embossing powder off every inch of my body, we headed down to Zilker Park Hillside Theater for the Music Man. For the first time in a month it was below 120°F and breezy. We got sandwiches from Thundercloud and enjoyed a great production. Wonderful free stuff like that makes me so happy to live in Austin. However...I've been whistling 76 Trombones

August 3, 2009

Changing Gears

We have officially walked away from the contract on the Gordon house. As wonderful and amazing as that house was, there were inspection and appraisal issues not to mention the seller and the sellers agent were amazingly difficult to deal with. We're hoping the 3rd time's a charm. We went out hunting on Sunday and found another very similar home that we're doing our homework on and will hopefully submit an offer this week. We definitely seem to have developed a distinct taste that we weren't so aware of the beginning. Three times now we've gravitated toward nearly identical houses that have the following things in common:
1. Built in the 1960's
2. Ranch style (wide with a lower roof line)
3. Red/orange brick or limestone
4. Big trees
5. Nearly quarter acre lots

In between house hunting and more house hunting we've been switching gears back to wedding planning. We're just over 3 months away from the big day and have a lot to do! I spent much of this weekend covered in ink and embossing powder (that effing stuff gets everywhere). Here I am stamping oak leaves on to the velum envelope liners for the invitations (please ignore the mess behind me, we've started packing and that bookcase has become the catch all for things to pack). Hand making your own invitations is an incredibly good motivation to have a very small wedding. Too bad I didn't realize that before I sent out the save the dates which I designed on photoshop and printed through so were far less work. I'm really proud of the finished product though, assuming I ever complete more than just the prototype.

July 26, 2009

A Day Off

Since we've officially been granted an extension on our option period, we've met with every possible contractor and inspector and our Realtor has helped us to come up with a list of requests, we decided to take yesterday off from caring about the house. We got all dolled up and went to see Tori Amos at the Long Center. It's my first time going to the Long Center and I must say it was beautiful. We had great seats for a spectacular performance and the view of down town from the terrace was incredible. After a wonderful show we went to Kerby Lane south for queso and a sandwich. Quite the perfect date night.

And now we go back to waiting for a response from the seller on our requests (demands?).

July 22, 2009

Inside Out

I can now say I've seen the inside of a sewer pipe. Specifically a sewer pipe that contains a big fat root from the lovely tree in the front yard. I've also seen an ancient roof with hail damage and rotten plywood. And last but not least, I've seen exactly what an exterior electrical panel should not look like. We knew there was a problem when 4 consecutive people (2 building inspectors and 2 licensed master electricians) took the cover off, cocked their head to one side, stared for about 5 minutes before shaking their heads and saying "what the HELL did this guy do?!". The only good termites!

Now for negotiations. If seller-man won't at least bring the electrical work up to code and replace the roof (or give us back the money to do it ourselves) then this house may not be ours after all. I mean really, who wants to buy a fire trap with a leaky roof and a clogged toilet? All the cosmetic stuff is wood floors, tile and carpet, new cabinets and appliances, new light and plumbing fixtures. But what good does that do it when it's charred and soggy. Very little, I'd say.

July 20, 2009

Learning Curve

We had our official home inspection Sunday morning. It was nerve racking waiting to see what all is wrong. This was also the time everyone came to check out the house. At one point D's dad and the inspector were up on the roof bouncing up and down while my mom wandered around measuring things. My dear friend Amanda came by with her son, Ronan - who's almost 2. He inspected the big sticks in the back yard and made sure to check all the doors for us (don't worry, they work). Amanda's dad is a building inspector and he provided a 3rd (4th? 5th?) opinion for us along with an idea of what work needs to be done. Fortunately, it's a pretty solid little house it just has some electrical issues and could really stand to have a new roof due to past hail damage.

On Tuesday we'll have a hydro-static plumbing test and termite inspection as well as meet with a roofing company and an electrician to get bids on the work that needs to be done. I feel lik
e I'm learning so much through this process, but it's still really overwhelming. I don't want to miss a single step and end up with a really expensive problem. I'm beyond excited about starting completely fresh with D in a house where we'll hopefully live for a long long time.

How about a half-bath today?

July 17, 2009


So after a full week of pulling our hair out we have a contract. Not a full house yet, just a contract...but at least that's something. Inspections are schedule for this weekend and hopefully in 30 days - give or take - we'll have a real live house of our very own.

Now to tease with another, though slightly less obscure, picture. Enjoy...

July 13, 2009

Tick Tick Tock

So we're a whole 50 hours away from our offer and we still have no word from the seller. Our Realtor called on rant-mode about how unacceptable it is to hold an offer this long with no response and that she was going to call and demand a response immediately. Here! Here! Of course that was 3 hours ago. So much for immediate.

This process definitely helps me understand why people by new homes. You sit down and negotiate the features of your house like a new car. There's no one waiting to outbid you and no seller holding out for the best offer. But we want an old house. With trees and a story and neighbors who've been there 40 years. Silly us for being so picky.

picture: Flickr squared circles - clocks

July 11, 2009

Fingers Crossed

Alright World, please keep your proverbial fingers crossed. We just submitted an offer on a fantastically wonderful little house. Out of pure superstition there will be no pictures until we know more. In the mean time...enjoy the back yard in all it's ginormous glory.

July 9, 2009

Nap Time

Zipper was spayed last week and we were told to keep her calm for about a week after surgery. Has anyone ever tried keeping calm a kitten who is thoroughly convinced that she is, in fact, a grown dog? She plays non-stop with our dog, Betsy, she cries at the door when Betsy goes outside and eats dog food (!?) when Betsy eats. Maybe we'll make youtube fame if she ever decides to start barking. When she does decide to sleep, however, she's awfully cute and cuddly.

picture: D napping with Zipper

July 8, 2009

How do people do this?

That would be the question D and I have been asking each other these past few weeks. How do people juggle demanding jobs, plan a wedding, buy a house and not kill each other? D's work has gotten particularly hectic lately and we're four months away from our big day. Oh and every single other person within a 30 mile radius of Austin, TX is trying to buy their first home and we all have the same budget. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that we're in a position to buy a home especially while interest rates are so low, but this process is making me crazy.

Every single home we drive by or go into (pictured above) has something majorly wrong with it or someone beats us to the punch and snatches it up before we have a chance to put in an offer. In case anyone's wondering, all of the above houses have some or all of the following problems:
  • It's already under contract.
  • Someone outbid us.
  • It's in a really scary neighborhood.
  • The surrounding houses are in trashy awful disrepair.
  • The foundation is heaving, sloping, cracking or otherwise sinking into the earth (most common problem).
  • It's too small.
  • It has no yard.
  • It has aluminum wiring.
  • It requires more work than we can afford to do.
  • It's downwind from a landfill.
  • It was built during the eighties.
  • It's in a subdivision that reminds us both of Children of the Corn.
  • It's in a subdivision where there are no trees taller than the houses.
What I'm having the most difficult time with is all the emotional ups and downs. Our Realtor tells us to sit in a house we like and imagine ourselves see if we fit. So we do that. We drive by to see if we like the neighborhood, we look at the pictures over and over to imagine where our furniture will be. We imagine family dinners and where the Christmas tree would go. Then we go in the house and find that it's slowly sliding downhill and we have to scratch it off our list and mourn the loss of this theoretically perfect home. Rinse and repeat. Our realtor insists that it's just a waiting game and the perfect house is still out there, just waiting to go on the market...but we're starting to feel a little beat up by this process and we're taking it out on each other. How do people do this?

June 28, 2009


The world has been a busy place this June. D's little-est sister graduated from high school as the valedictorian. She quoted Emerson in her speech and made us all cry. D's family had quite a graduation party for her, but my all time favorite part was sitting on their back porch. I could spend hours on that porch drinking coffee and talking to D's mom about crocheting. The view is amazing.

My birthday came and went. I feel like I've spent the last year making the transition from adult to grown up and now, at 28, I don't feel like such an impostor. We had a nice quiet dinner with friends followed by amazing chocolate goodness from Central Market. D's middle little sister showed up at my school with flowers from her and D since D couldn't get away from work. I decided a long time ago that I wanted zinnias for the wedding. And the beautiful bouquet on my desk confirmed that.

We went camping the weekend after my birthday. It was beautiful and hot. We spent the weekend alternating between hiking and sitting in very small waterfalls reading. We ate the requisite hot dogs and roasted marshmallows and enjoyed our lack of cell phone service and Netflix.

The wedding is just over 4 months away and my current project is organza and tulle flowers for mom corsages and hair decor. It was a bit of a challenge finding fall colors at the beginning of the summer, and I keep burning myself...but otherwise I absolutely love the way they're turning out. I'm finishing them with seed beads and vintage buttons. And the kitten keeps trying really hard to run off with my scraps.

We've started spending all our evenings and weekends house hunting. Houses in our price range move incredibly quickly so we keep finding that perfect house and a moment later it goes under contract. Fortunately there's a lot on the market and our Realtor, Abbe Waldman, is amazing. I can't wait to post pictures of the elusive new home...once we find it.

May 26, 2009

Sweet and Bitter

As sad as it is to see one more state uphold it's ban on same-sex marriages, I'm relieved and comforted to know that my friends and peers who are part of that 18,000 are still married. Until the rest of the country comes to it's senses we'll just protect ourselves legally as best we can and keep trusting in the support of our friends and family. We've received unexpected support from colleagues, family and old family friends and those family members who were less than accepting seem to be slowly coming around.

D and I offer no apologies to those who disagree with our lifestyle. We'll continue living like any other engaged couple staying up until the wee hours making invitations, agonizing over the idea of pre-wedding diets and looking for a new house.

May 24, 2009


In true practical fashion, we will be combining our honeymoon with a professional conference. We'll spend a few days running around the D.C. area being touristy and visiting old buddies from my Maryland days then I'll spend 4 days at a conference while D takes in the museums. And the best part, my school will pay for my flight and our hotel during the conference. We've been talking about going to D.C. for a while so this presents the perfect opportunity to get away in the most cost effective way possible. We're thrilled! Now to find the perfect hotel...


I've known for years that I would inherit my Grandmother's wedding set once my time came. What I didn't know, was whether I'd wear it as is or have the diamonds reset. Once D and I were officially engaged I retrieved the rings from my parents. My Grandmother's rings were actually in their second incarnation. The original set was very small and simple and all white gold with the date 1937 engraved on the inside. In the mid-sixties or seventies, once the kids were grown and my grandparents were doing well financially my Granddaddy had the rings remade. The new set was gorgeous but much larger and flashier and lost much of it's 1930's deco charm. Grandmother never liked it and once my Granddaddy died she put the central diamond into a plain gold solitaire setting that she wore until she died. Now the diamonds are ours.

We worked with goldsmith Steve Kriechbaum who created a lovely set of rings incorporating Grandmother's diamonds into both our rings along with recycling the gold from both my Grandmother's ring sets (I kept the original set with their initials and the date engraved -- too much history to melt them down). The three diamonds set in the wedding bands represent Orion's Belt which served to connect us during the years we were apart. I love knowing I'll wear these rings every day for the rest of my life.

May 5, 2009

meet Zipper

She literally showed up on our front porch 3 Mondays ago and has since clawed, chewed, furred and licked her way into our hearts. I've been begging for a kitten for months, but we'd decided to wait until we moved. Zipper had other ideas. She is Betsy the dog's new best friend, though I think the incessant attacking and ankle chomping is wearing Betsy out. She is Spud the cat's new arch nemesis. Zipper isn't even the slightest bit scared of the Spud and chases her around the house despite being hissed at.

When Zipp isn't gnawing on our ankles or fingers or elbows her favorite place is curled up with us on the couch. I love her even if she is sharp and pointy.

May 3, 2009


We're back in planning mode now that we're almost exactly 6 months away from the big day. In the last couple weeks I've ordered the save the dates (yay for 50% off on Overnightprints!) and addressed most of them, ordered the envelopes for the invitations and made the boutonnieres. D has started working on the music list (hopefully it won't all end up being game-boy derived). Oh, and last weekend we went to City Wide Garage Sale with my mom and found a bunch of $2 vintage table cloths. Most of them are a bit stained, but hopefully nothing a little Biz can't fix.

I made boutonnieres for Diana and Al (who is our unofficial officiant) as well as D's Dad and Papa. We're not at all sure whether either of them will chose to come, but I'm certainly going to be prepared. I also made two little boutonnieres with pin-backs for Ronan and Cooper - our flower boys. The boutonierres may not be the most original, but I think they really suit our wedding and the colors are perfect for fall. The buttons are a mix of old vintage buttons that I've been playing with and sorting since childhood, and new buttons I've acquired over the years.

It's so exciting feeling like we're really getting ready to make this happen.

I'll post pictures of the Save the Dates once I know anyone who reads this blog has received theirs, I don't want to ruin the fun.

April 16, 2009


To keep my shoulders warm for a November wedding.

I just picked up the pattern for this gorgeous shrug from Crocheteria on Etsy. I absolutely love her designs! My future sister-in-law, Emily, has become quite the crochet queen lately and has agreed to make this for me. I can't wait to go pick out the perfect shade of orange to match an autumn day and my flowy ivory dress.

April 10, 2009

Tiny Green Thumbs

This is why I love my job. The younger toddler class has planted a garden. They planted green bean seeds in little plastic cups which have been transplanted to the garden along with poles for them to climb. Their teacher also planted lettuce, tomatoes, basil, bell peppers and flowers that they help water each day. And today they planted onions themselves and watered them. We're talking about kids just over a year old. Children are amazingly capable when we allow them to be.

April 8, 2009

piece by piece

It's been just over a month and I feel like I'm sort of coming out on the other side of much of the initial, visceral grief. The grieving process has been so new and strangely interesting to experience. Projects are my friend. The one thing I kept from my father was his massive tie collection, many of which I can remember picking out for him while growing up. In true crafty fashion I have spent hours dissecting the ties, removing the lining and ironing them flat. I'm now working on making several small quilts from the ties to give to my siblings. The hours I've spent working with my hands has been quite therapeutic....though I'm sure the bits and pieces of ties everywhere are driving D crazy.

Oh, and we're buying a house. Eeek!

March 19, 2009

Two weeks later

It's been 2 weeks since my world was turned completely upside down. I toyed with the idea of abandoning this blog completely, I'm not at all sure anyone reads; but my life hasn't stopped, just changed. All the initial craziness of flowers and casseroles and services has subsided and family has returned to their corners of the world. Now I'm left with the daily realization of life without Dad.

D has been amazing through out all of this. She sat with me on mom's couch for nine hours straight two Thursdays ago. This has been her initiation to our family. She's stuck with me now.

My thoughts on our upcoming wedding have taken on a somber tone. I can't think of that day without sadness of who won't be there. Mom is selling the Airstream, she can't travel alone so that's out. No big deal, just an absence. But the big one...who will walk me down the aisle?

March 5, 2009

Gerald Allen

My dad passed away this morning. Suddenly. Out of no where. I might be a little quiet for a while.

March 1, 2009

Farewell, February

I've never been quite so happy about seeing a month end. Here's to hoping my March calendar won't look quite so crazy.

February 13, 2009

Happy Almost Heart Day!

I'm usually such a scrooge when it comes to Valentine's day, but this year I've gone all out. I was up until midnight last night making button flowers and cards for all the teachers who work for me (I direct a small child dev. center). The flowers are pins that are just stuck through the card. Everyone's running around the center wearing their flowers today.

I love it!

And as promised here are the lovelies from East Side Bride in all their gold-leafed glory:

Thank you First Milk for putting together the swap! I can't wait until next year!