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Archive for the ‘wedding’ Category

Today is our first wedding anniversary, and we celebrated by visiting the Boston Harbor Islands. We were very surprised to see a raccoon on a sandbar just off the shore, and spent quite a while watching it as it buried something in the gravel and moseyed around amongst the seagulls.  Some photos of the raccoon, as well as my efforts at artistic landscape photos, are at the end of this post.  I had also gotten a mini cake from the same bakery we got our wedding cake at, so we enjoyed the first anniversary tradition of having some wedding-ish cake without having to eat something that has a year’s worth of freezer burn on it. It’s been 1 year, and yet we felt so fully committed to each other even before we married, that it’s a milestone that doesn’t really mark any major change in the tempo of our lives together.

It’s been nearly 3 years since we started living together. Because E moved into the house that I owned, we wanted a way to make the place ours, and decided to paint some of the rooms into vibrant colors instead of the generic off-white I’d originally used. Unfortunately, the medium blue we chose for the bedroom wound up feeling a little cold and a little like the bottom of a YMCA pool. So we’re taking advantage of the fact that M is away for a week (visiting Arizona and the Grand Canyon with my parents) to move all our bedroom furniture into his room so we can repaint our room into a more neutral pale yellow/cream color, and put in laminate flooring in place of the revolting old carpeting full of cat dander, cat spitup, and assorted other gross things we don’t even want to think about.

It’s been 5 years since I first asked E out on a date. 5 years since I was so out-of-practice at asking and she was so out-of-practice at being asked, that one of her coworkers had to read my email and inform her that yes, I was asking her out. 5 years in which we’ve gotten to know each other so well, that our lives are now fully woven together. She’s got full responsibility for the audiovisual and IT needs of our household, which means we now have a TV antenna that gets such awesome reception we can watch channel 7 even when it rains. I’ve got full responsibility for the tool-time and putting-things-together aspects of the household, which explains why, when we moved her dresser into M’s room, she put the first couple drawers back in misaligned by an inch before asking me to just do it.

Here was a conversation we had the other day:

S: “How’s your coworker doing? The one with the problem?”
E: “Which one?”
S: “The one whose name I can never remember, that starts with K.”
E: “You mean Todd?”
S: “Yeah, him!”

If we can sound this much like an old married couple at 1/3/5 years, can you imagine what we’ll be like in another 10?

Here’s the raccoon at the island:

And the landscape shots:

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My wedding ring fits fairly well, so the only time I’ve ever worried about it falling off is when I’m swimming. In April, I’m going to a training course down in Florida (woohoo!) and will have time in the evening to swim in either a pool or the ocean (woohoo woohoo!) So I’m wondering what I should do to make sure I don’t lose the ring.

I know I could just take it off and leave it in the motel room, but I worry about losing it or having it stolen there. And also, I really prefer not to take it off in general. So if I keep it on, how do I keep from losing it? Looking around the internet, I’ve seen some people suggest wearing a second ring in a smaller size in front of it. Depending on how much my fingers swell in Florida heat, I’m not sure I could get a smaller ring off again, and am not sure exactly what size it would need to be. I’ve seen some people suggest wrapping the finger in duct tape or electrical tape or medical tape in front of the ring. And it occurred to me that I could also just wrap a rubber band around my finger in front of the ring, which would be even simpler than tape, but I can’t find any internet record that anybody does this, so maybe there’s some hidden con I haven’t figured out.

So what would you suggest, or what do you do? For the record, this ring is a gold band with some engravings in it; there are no stones that could fall out. And my approach to swimming is gentle dog paddle and bobbing up and down in waves, not hundreds of yards of crawl stroke.

(Hey, I’m going to Florida, I’m using the poll thing with the palm trees!)

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Just married

Our wedding was on Saturday, and it was absolutely wonderful. We are beyond happy with how everything went.

Our aim all along had been for our wedding to be a simple and deeply meaningful ceremony, surrounded by our closest friends and family, followed by an enjoyable evening with really good food. And that’s exactly what we managed to have.

We held it all at a local ski area, and the weather was perfect for having an outdoor ceremony: warm but not hot, high thin clouds, and a light wind. Everyone took the chairlift up to the mountaintop. As we rode up, we worried that we hadn’t seen several of the guests we were expecting. And then just as we neared the summit, we had a nervous moment seeing people waiting for us, and the aisle we were going to walk down, and oh my goodness, this was really happening. About 2 seconds later, we realized the missing guests were sitting there with everyone else after all, and the joyful surprise pushed the nervousness aside.

Hand in hand, we walked down the aisle. My church pastor had been great about working with us ahead of time to alter a standard service into something that would reflect us and our beliefs, and the end result was a 10 minute ceremony that was just excellent. Two of our friends, and our son M, each did short readings. The pastor had a time to give “brief reflections on marriage and the relationship” but we didn’t know what she would say. Well, she perfectly wove together some bits of things we’d told her about how we met, and tied it in to the larger context of gay marriage in our society. We had written our own vows, which included our own reflections on our relationship. Everyone laughed at one bit of mine that was funny, and when E talked about how glad she was to call M her son, we could see him beaming in the front row.

Ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour and then dinner. My dad made a toast that was both funny and heartfelt. At the last minute Saturday morning, I had decided to bring along a couple of inflatable beach balls so the little kids (E’s honorary niece, our flower girl, and honorary nephew) would have something to do while the grown-ups were setting up. The beach balls ended up staying out on the dance floor, and the little kids and the preteens were all seen happily playing with them at various points during the evening. The food was delicious, as was the wedding cake. We heard a few people say it was the best wedding food and cake they’d ever had. Pretty impressive, especially considering it was a ski area doing the food, and a bakery that doesn’t claim to do wedding cakes, but does make delicious sheet cakes and fancied one up for us.

People moved around from table to table, talking to each other. It’s wonderful to hear people we know and love from so many different places and times in our life meeting each other and enjoying each other’s company. Overall, it was 30 of our closest friends and family, and every single person who had planned to come actually made it. This was especially meaningful considering one person missed part of her grandmother’s funeral to be there, and one person had last-minute flight snafus. Our only real regret was that E’s recently-widowed mom wasn’t there; she is still feeling too overwhelmed to make a trip like this. On the plus side, we were both truly impressed by how mature M was that day, and how clearly overjoyed he was to have our family legally recognized.

We don’t have official wedding photos from the photographer yet, but here are a few photos that I took before or after. The first is the book that I hollowed out so M would have something to carry the rings in; it was from a used book sale and had the title “family” stamped on the spine in gold. M’s reading was pasted into the front of the book. We heard the amused surprise during the ceremony when people realized his reading book had a hidden secret.

One of my church friends had offered to do the flowers for us. We bought some bud vases, she gathered the hydrangeas from another church friend’s yard, and she got some flowers from a cut-your-own farm too. Our bouquets are together in the vase on the left, and a centerpiece is on the right. We’d had no idea exactly what she would do, but trusted her to come up with someting casual and beautiful, and she did.

And finally, here’s us enjoying our morning coffee the next morning, using the souvenir mug that the ski area gave us.

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The punch list

2 days until the wedding, and we’re in pretty good shape. E and M are both out getting haircuts right now. I’m about to tackle our overflowing laundry pile so we’ll have clean clothes for the honeymoon. We discovered this afternoon that the portable CD player we planned to use for our processional music doesn’t actually work. Thankfully, the neighbor across the street had a player she could lend us. (Their family has 3 teenagers, and so they probably have every kind of music-playing device known to humankind.)

My friend Cranky Otter who lives in California sent us a “bridal shower in a box” — See’s chocolates, a fabric rose, silly bridal socks, etc. We were both really touched; it was sweet to get one little bit of bridal girliness, when most of the time we’re approaching this wedding stuff as our usual no-nonsense middle-aged selves. We even wore the socks to work today.

E still has to sort through some of the music for the reception, and we need to practice reading our vows, and practice our first dance. We’re not planning anything ambitious, it’s just that we have never once danced together, and we figured doing it in front of 30 people was probably not the way to start. Other than that, we’re pretty much set. And the calm certainty that it feels absolutely natural and right to marry E goes a long way toward offsetting any last-minute stress I might have had.

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This morning, at the 7th grade year-end assembly, M got two awards. The kids are grouped all year in “teams” of about 100 kids. M had the highest math score on his team for a year-long math competition, and he also got the “core values” award for his team. Which means he “exemplified the school’s core values of learning, respect, and responsibility.” Not bad for a kid who lost a couple textbooks along the way.

And this afternoon, we all went down to town hall so E and I could apply for our marriage license. She is now officially “Party A” and I’m “Party B.” Let’s hear it for a state with legalized same-sex marriage, and gender-neutral license applications!

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In previous years, when Mombian’s “Blogging for LGBT Families” day rolled around, I posted about life in our household of two moms and one kid, and went on my merry way. But right now, so much of our lives is currently focused on major changes in our larger family, that the LGBT aspect to our nuclear family feels like a minor footnote.

In May, my partner E’s father died. Although he’d been fighting cancer for the last few years, the end still came much sooner and faster than any of us had expected or were prepared for. E, her mom, and her dad’s sister were all there in the hospital, to hold his hands and talk to him, right to his very last breath. It’s a toss-up which has been harder for E: saying goodbye to her father, or becoming the main source of comfort for her mother. It’s definite that life has been difficult and incredibly painful lately.

In late June, E and I are getting married. It’s hard to feel celebratory right now, but I suppose that’s OK; marriage is about love in hard times as well as good ones. And there are moments in the wedding planning that do remind us how eager our friends and family are to celebrate, at least. Perhaps the sweetest is that my dad was determined to buy himself a tie for the wedding that would match the color of my dress. So when he visited recently, I held the dress next to the computer and he tinkered with Photoshop until he found the right color. He wrote down the numeric code for that color, and later he brought his laptop to the tie department of JC Penney. I think he put more effort into buying this tie than all other ties in the rest of his life combined.

In July, my brother heads to Iraq for a long-term assignment. Keep safe, little brother. By August, I hope E’s mother will be close enough to selling her house that we can help her move back north to live near us. Because that’s the sandwich generation in a nutshell: trying to help an elderly parent move before we’re tied back in to the child’s school schedule. And in September, our son will become a teenager. He’s already got the moodiness, the braces, the acne, and the need to eat every 2 hours, so this should be a fairly easy transition for him.

So it’s a busy season in all of our lives. I’ve already hollered dibs on celebrating Thanksgiving at our house this year. I picture looking around that table and seeing my wife, my son, my mom and dad, and my mother-in-law. The cat will be there, trying to cadge some turkey, and the anti-social hamster may even stick his head out because his cage is only a couple feet from the kitchen table. We’ll give thanks for those gathered, and pray for my brother’s safety. And I won’t see us as an LGBT family. I’ll just see the family I love and feel so blessed to have in my life.

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3 months to go

3 months until our wedding.  According to the standard checklists, we should be doing the following sorts of things now:

  1. Submit invitations to the calligrapher
  2. Book a hairstylist and makeup artist
  3. Order wedding favors
  4. Consider signing up for dance classes
  5. Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
  6. Confirm tuxes have been ordered
  7. Finalize wedding transportation

And about 15 more things, most of which we’ll either never do, or are nowhere near ready to tackle in the level of detail these checklists talk about.  Here’s our actual to-do list for the weekend:

  1. Clean bathroom fan
  2. Convert the video M made into some format he can bring to a Scout merit badge event
  3. Burn brush
  4. Sort out unneeded financial papers so they can get burned along with the brush
  5. Clean the litter boxes
  6. Drive M to and from the merit badge event
  7. Visit Home Depot to buy flower bulbs and think about getting a new refrigerator
  8. Lead spiritual discussion group before church on Sunday
  9. Cook scrambled eggs for M every 4 hours since it’s just about the only food he can eat since he just got his braces on and his teeth really hurt
  10. Meet with baker to discuss wedding cake

Well, we’ve got one wedding thing in there, anyway.

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