Thanks to everyone who has been commenting on photographs and entries! There are more posts and pictures to come. Speaking of pictures please let me know if you have any of the ceremony and/or reception. We have some but we were a bit busy to be taking loads of snapshots… That’s why we wanted YOU to bring your cameras! Now’s your time to share! You can send them to me at or set up an online photo album through lots of different sites and programs like: Google’s Picassa, Facebook, MySpace (although if you want to skip MySpace I’d prefer it) or any other file sharing site.

Keep checking back here. I hope to have more posts up this weekend!




written July 26th…

So I am now a Mrs. I’ll be sticking with my own name just to confuse traditionalists!

Yesterday was…. well, since I blew the suspense with my subject, perfect. Unless, of course you are sarcastic and believe that everyone sees the world like you do. In that case it doesn’t sound so great! But it was… It honestly couldn’t have gone any better. Here’s the lowdown:


Running around like headless chickens was not how I wanted to spend my wedding day, but I can’t say that I was surprised. Ian had to go to the dump for a last load of yard waste, pick up coolers, beer, ice… I had to put money in the bank (desperately!), get some hair pins and prescriptions, pick up balloons and run to the craft store for fake flowers, birds and eggs. I had tried to make papier mache flowers for the cake yesterday morning and thought “I’m going to end up killing someone if I keep trying to do these in such a state!” So I chucked the idea and went fake instead. What a relief!

We had no idea what to expect for weather. Earlier in the week there had been reports saying that we were due for 100+ degree days and winds up with up to 50 mph gusts! Then later we had a 30% chance of thunderstorms and we could even see heavy clouds staring us down in the distance. Awesome. (That, by the way, is sarcasm.)

We had people over doing film testing (we had some cinematic friends film with some hoity-toity equipment!), setting up tables, chairs, chandeliers and well-wish origami cranes in the altar/hoopa and flowers.

The altar/hoopa in it's beginning stages

The altar/hoopa in it's beginning stages

My sister and her boyfriend made little fishes and bubbles to go on the fish booth “curtain” and then we didn’t end up using those pieces… Ah well… When we finally took a second to stop the hunger shakes we ate delicious, but hurried, leftovers from one of our many times out . SO MUCH TO DOOOO!!! It was overwhelming.

Finally, after everyone had used our one shower or had gone back to their homes/places where they were staying to clean up I was able to step into the shower myself to hopefully send some stress down the drain and get a breath in the meantime. I still had no idea how I was going to do my hair beyond curly and up. Luckily both (curly and up) were easy and worked well together. My hair was done in about 3 minutes, make-up – perfect, dress (and tricky under garments) – on! I managed to get both sets of toenails painted and one hand before someone started knocking on the door.

Ian joined me in getting ready as he, too,  got a shower and then a little trim, then set out to calm the anxious crowd who oohed and ahhhhed at his swanky, Great Gatsby attire.

While I finished up with my sister’s help a friend put together my bouquet of  Stargazer lillies and baby’s breath. It was gorgeous and exactly what I had wanted!!

The brides fragrant bouquet

The brides fragrant bouquet

On to the next….

Show time:

Finally, I walked out of the stifling bedroom (curtains were closed due to tricky undergarments and the air of surprise) into the house where there were just a few people waiting. Already, I knew that Ian and I were going to be show stoppers! I asked him to get everyone rounded up (people in their seats, parents and sister ready to walk down the aisle) and we headed out the door. I could hear mumbles and oohs and aahs from the crowd, but my mind was still reeling! Did I get this done, oh, I forgot that, is it too late to…. Oh, well.

Heading out to the aisle

Heading out to the aisle

Ian walked down the aisle with a parent on each arm, sitting them in front. I took a deep breath, sister on one arm, father on the other until we reached the seating area where we had to go one by one.

As I was trying to calm myself down I looked at this beautiful place that we had created under the embrace of dozens of old hazelnut trees. It truly was awe inspiring. I didn’t think it would turn out so perfectly. Two or three chairs to a side, gauzy netting framing where we would take our vows and a chandelier over our heads.

People turned to watch as we entered. I came through last. I could smell the earth beneath my feet and the heady, syrupy perfume of the stargazers in my hands. And then I was there, standing next to this handsome young man that wanted to spend his life with me. I could tell he was avoiding looking anyone in the eye for fear of losing it. Me, too.

At the altar, Chris, our friend and officiator, took a second to look at us both and then began…

After Chris’ opening Frank, Ian’s long-time friend and best man, was going to get up to speak, but seeing as how his wife was about to give birth he wasn’t able to join us. He did however send a letter on with a good friend to be read at the wedding. While the letter was full of “geek” information it was a lovely sentiment in the end.

Next, Ian’s parents stood up and said a few words about how happy they were for both of us and how they fully supported our decision to commit to each other.

Mara speaking her heart and getting ready to read

Mara speaking her heart and getting ready to read

My sister was last to stand and say something. She was pretty teary-eyed as she told us how happy she was and how much we mean to her. Then she read a poem by Gary Soto, “Oranges.” Beautiful, beautiful! Without being frilly and overly sentimental the poem did such a wonderful job of showing the quiet beauty that is love and the small (and sometimes big) sacrifices we make for love.

And then, the main event! Our vows.

Ian balked earlier when he saw that I had four pages written and ready to read. I could tell that he felt bad that he had just one. I wasn’t worried about it in the least.

I went first talking about how wonderful Ian was because he’s never manipulated or lied to me. He’s always treated me with respect and I know that I have the freedom to go and do whatever I want and I know he will support me with those decisions and be with me when I come home.

Ian reading his vows

Ian reading his vows

Ian’s vows had a lot of the same sentiments that I had made but that’s because we already have had a sort of unspoken understanding of how we both work separately and together. That’s why we’ve worked so well together these past 6 years.

I knew Chris would do a beautiful job. He has a very sentimental side and I know has the utmost respect for Ian and myself. He described how our love is much like a tree…

Marriage is a tree with real roots and branches. It soaks the sunshine of the best days and it grows outward. It drinks the rain of the storms that are sure to occur and expands its roots and grows stronger. It moves in the winds that life sends us every day, and flows. It stores its energy in a safe place when cold and snow and winter times come, and provides a place to go deep inside for warm solace.



After pronouncing us husband and wife, etc., etc. my father asked if he might say something. He hadn’t wanted to talk during the ceremony because what he wanted to say was lengthy. That embarrassment we all feel about our parents started to poke at me, but it needn’t have, what he had to say was beautiful. He said that he has looked over me and been worried about me for so long. My health has been his topmost concern for years. He shared with everyone a little pair of shoes that he’s kept of mine since I was 3 years old. Now, because of Ian, he feels at peace knowing that Ian will be there for me through whatever may happen. He knows, too, that Ian will keep him informed if anything should happen. We will look after each other in the best and worst of times. It was truly heart felt and if people in the crowd hadn’t been crying before (which I understand everyone was crying) they certainly were then…

Papa giving his blessing

Papa giving his blessing

And so the celebration began!!



This seems to be a word that my keyboard chooses to utter every time I put together an email to anyone. I never thought that I’d be channeling ‘Cathy’ at any point in my life, but here I am.


It’s been hard to keep up with the posts with our schedule getting tighter and tighter. I can’t thank you all enough for responding to the posts I do have up and for being so great with me if I’ve emailed you.

So, here’s where we are right now… the dress just needs a couple of finishing touches, we’ve been doing initial decorating planning (figuring out where chairs and tables go, getting a list together of what else to go and get, etc.), the cake is going to be made by a saint, Ian’s all set with what he’s wearing, the folks (Ian’s) came in last night after a cross-country journey by car, the house is virtually spotless and the weather is supposed to be ridiculously hot on Saturday…. of course.

I can feel the knots in my belly and back start to loosen just a bit. I think once the dress was finished and all the invites were out and about that I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. My poor sister keeps trying to get me to delegate, delagate, delagate but there’s only so much that other people can do for you. She’s sweet to worry. I think she realizes now that weddings are just naturally stressful. There are a lot of people to think about, there’s food, music, what to wear, etc., etc. and it juts gets out of control in your head. I can’t imagine having started this process months (or even years!) ago and dealing with what a lot of weddings contain that we don’t have. There won’t be a space to rent for the wedding or the reception, there won’t be tables to rent, a band to hire and don’t even get me started on what women can spend on their wedding dress alone! Going into debt didn’t seem like a good idea for us to start off our married life together…. and it’s just not our style, anyway.

I’ll continue to do this at the reception and in our thank you notes, but I really really can’t thank you all enough for contributing your talents to making this a wonderful celebration of how much Ian and I love each other. Our neighbors have been offering us tables and chairs and bringing us coolers and x-mas lights. Friends have helped clean up the yard and offered to decorate. The cake is being made by a friend’s mother who isn’t expecting anything for it, though that does not fly with us! (You will be thanked. Consider yourself warned!)

(If you’re feeling left out of the picture there are still plenty of spots where we could use someone to manage things like food, the fishing booth and such. But I don’t think that’ll be much aof a problem….)

I can’t wait until all the prep is over and we can really enjoy ourselves and our friends and family. We’re getting there…. and a new kind of nervous is setting in….

Happy (belated) 4th!!

This past weekend I went to the lovely little city of Seattle to visit my sister, meet her new beau, grab a couple of things for the wedding and celebrate the 4th of July, of course.

7.3.09 021

I couldn’t have picked a better time to head out of Yakima. Temperatures were supposed to be in the 90s (maybe higher) and since we don’t have air-conditioning heading to low to mid-80 degree weather seemed like the more comfortable option.

So, after being ‘interviewed’ by the beau we managed to go to Lake Washington for a bit of wading and swimming. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the water in Seattle when the weather has been so lovely! Jason has a convertible and we rode with the top down all the way to the lake. It seemed more like an afternoon at the beach, really. The way the sun hit the trees, the way the sky was just the right color of blue and how the air had a bit of salt-water weight to it.

To the beach!

To the beach!

7.3.09 004

That evening we went to the store to grab some grub and headed home to make burgers. We were joined by a charming friend of my sister’s and the four of us had a feast while talking of film making, relationships, the Twilight phenomenon and the whole Michael Jackson… well, debacle. At nightfall we opted out of going to some incredibly crowded locales to nestle into the cool basement to watch fireworks on TV. What a show! While it would have been impressive in person it was worth it to not have to deal with all those people and the waiting around and the parking and the traffic to get home… am I getting old?

The next day after pancakes (and a second breakfast for my blood-sugar challenged sister :^( we went to MAC at University Village for a make-over and some suggestions. I was helped by Rick Toth (he gave me his card) and he did an amazing job of matching my skin tones and getting the exact look that I wanted for the wedding. After feeling frazzled about the wedding it was sooooo luxurious to have someone use a make-up brush to put moisturizer on my face! Ahhhhh…..

Afterward we did some more looking around and headed home for ribs! (Man, was there a lot of eating that weekend!)



Archie McPhee was one of the main stops on Sunday for some prizes to go along with our reception games. I’ve never been to a store, I’ve only had their catalogs, and I was a bit amazed by all the STUFF that they had. When I was buying my little finds I asked the guy at the counter how he kept track of it all. He wasn’t too interested in talking and just said something noncommittal about getting used to it or something. Fine. Mara and I sat for a silly photo session in a photo booth and jetted out for tea with a friend.And I headed out not long after.

I’ve been trying to lose a little for the wedding (don’t all brides feel compelled to do that? it’s silly really) and all the weekend’s eating made me want to throw in the towel. I think I’ve given up on trying to lose that little bread loaf that sits just above my belt. Oh well. No one’s really going to care but me. (But if you say anything about me needing to lose a few be prepared to get a bruise or see me start to bawl depending on where we are in the day…)

And by the way, the new beau is pretty awesome… WOOT!

Critters and Creatures

We have a nice little piece of property, but even if we didn’t we would still have lots of extra “friends” roaming around our garden. Cats are one thing but we’ve had many other kinds of visitors.

This last winter we had quite a few mice. And who wouldn’t want to be where it’s warm and there might be a crumb on the floor or a garbage bin to poke around in. Never mind that there are two cats… CATS! Amaya (our black cat) and Ollie (our white with black polka dots) certainly worked overtime this winter. They would either leave us a gift (I thought it was a toy and reached down to pick it up!) or they would hang on to their prize for dear life even if it was still… well…. wiggling. Ew.

Now the only visitors that we have in the house that aren’t our kitties are what we hope are birds nesting in a hole in the NW eve. It still sounds creepy with all that scratching about…

Early in the spring we had a wonderful and colorful surprise of loads of warblers that made their way through to warmer places. Their stay of a few weeks was a lovely, cheery and colorful experience. They’re so tiny!

But aside from those friends we’ve had visits by the nocturnal branch of the bird family. Owls. One night when outside hanging out by the campfire/fire pit we heard a massive amount of feathers float down from a telephone pole. It was a huge owl that had landed on the ground to catch a mouse. It looked at us completely nonplussed and just observed as if we were some sort of mild oddity… but not really all that interesting. Still he/she hung out for a bit and I managed to get some quick shots:

Mr. Barred Owl

Mr. Barred Owl

Turns out he’s a barred owl, relative to a spotted owl. Actually the barred owls are coming from the east coast and are threatening the habitat of the spotted owl. Go figure. This owl makes a lovely “who cooks for you” call.

We’ve also been seeing lots of western screech owls this spring and summer. These owls are adorably small, but I still wouldn’t want to mess with them. We’ve been hearing strange sounds at night in the tree just outside our bedroom window and thought it to be bats. It’s a squeaky, dry, hiccupy kind of sound. Last night we discovered while sitting out in the cool evening that the sound was actually coming from the western screech! Normally they make a trilling sound that quickens as it goes. Try to imagine a ping-pong ball getting dropped. It’s a light sound that gets faster as the ball starts to settle to being on the ground. Now imagine that kind of sound but on a note. That’s what this owl sounds like most times. We’ve heard them calling with that sound and getting a response in slow, low tones from a different area. We figure it must have to do with mating.

But back to this sqeaky owl sound… We figured out that the noisy owl was a baby and the owl that kept leaving and coming back (presumably with food) was the mama. We watched the feeding process over and over. They didn’t seem to mind us very much and Ian even got into a mimicking game with the baby while he was waiting for mama to come back!

Downy baby screech

Downy baby screech

Ian and the baby having a 'conversation'

Ian and the baby having a 'conversation'

Mama screech (she looks intense!)

Mama screech (she looks intense!)

We hope that we get to see more of them. Supposedly they nest in the same spot for years. Maybe we’ll get to see baby grow up!


Just a quick note to say “testing… testing…” Are you reading? Are you enjoying? I’m never sure when I suggest that people check out the site if they actually do. I’d love to hear what you think, answer questions, fix things in the blog, etc. Easy to comment! You can do it!

(It would make me happy.)

Lovely party

Main Entry: 1show·er
Pronunciation: \ˈshau(-ə)r\
Function: noun
1 a: a fall of rain of short duration b: a similar fall of sleet, hail, or snow
3: a party given by friends who bring gifts often of a particular kind <a bridal shower>
2: to give in abundance <showered her with honors>

Baby shower… bridal shower….. shower shower…. except for the last one I’d never had a “shower” before. What a strange and wonderful, wonderful thing.

My sister, Mara, good friend, Des, and multiple cohorts managed to completely surround me with love yesterday. Mara (the sis) planned and delegated in secrecy, at least from me, so much so that I didn’t even know what time the party began until the 11th hour. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a bit of a slave to surprises! (Good surprises, mind you.)

I had friends visit from out of town as well as local folk. It was a mixed crowd, too! I really see no point to keeping the bride’s celebration and preparations restricted to just the female branch of my social life. Most of my oldest and closest friends are male.

Where's my plate!?!

Where's my plate!?!

There was food of all kinds: fruit, veg, cucumber sandwiches with a secret ingredient that made them perfect tea finger sandwiches, cake (with and without nuts, of course!), crackers and cheese that were cut into little dogs, hearts and duckies, all kinds of things to drink including some fresh mojitos, some pickled asparagus (which disappeared immediately), carrots and salami, devine deviled eggs, Lindt chocolates and an unusual and delicious potato salad. Everything looked so photo ready and beautiful that no one was picking up a spoon or plate! A perfect assortment that left me feeling pleasantly satiated and refreshed.

Cheese anyone?

Cheese anyone?

After getting plates and noshing a bit we moved on to bridal bingo. Mary had put together these fantastic little bingo cards with boxes that said things like: bride, groom, Mimi, Ian, lips, nightie, frying pan (my favorite because I’m thinking of some sort of cartoon where someone gets hit on the head, of course!), apron, honeymoon, etc. Prizes were given out and thanks to Joan playing an extra card for me and filling a line immediately I managed to get some PB M&Ms. Des also shared in her prize by giving me a Jell-O cookbook with some…uh… scrumptious looking treats from the 70s. Shrimp and Jell-O anyone?

We had the traditional ‘make-the-wedding-dress-out-of-toilet-paper’ good time where I edned up looking like a cross between the bride of Frankenstein, a 20s flapper girl and a mummy. If only it would have lasted and not disintegrated as the party went on…

Presents were doled out with a theme: vintage lingerie. I LOVED it! Perfect perfect…. My collection has doubled with some delightful items like an amazingly soft house jacket, a demure and feminine black nightie, some lovely slips, a peach cami, a handkerchief as well as a homemade tote for all my loot, some original Lucy Valderhaug earrings (from the woman herself) and an unusual Vera tube neck scarf. One of my ‘mixed’ guests, whom I’ve known since 1st grade or so, decided that I might do better finding something on my own than by him doing the shopping and graciously offered a bit o’ scratch. D., if it’s ok with you I’m planning on putting that toward my wedding day sandals… Well, unless I find a nice saucy piece of vintage that I must have.

I have to say I was sorry when it was over. I had a perfectly lovely time. It felt strange being the center of attention like that but it was wonderfully nice to have so many good and old friends around that had nothing but love (and some lingerie) to give. Their well wishes have made me feel swaddled in a true energy to be happy. All the hugs, all the smiles, all the private words that say you deserve every good thing that is happening right now… I’m a bit overwhelmed by it.

Thank you so much for the party. Thank you for any kinds words or wishes you’ve said or thought or written down. This is turning into exactly what we wanted – a celebration of love, a coming together of friends and family, a declaration of commitment. It’s hard to not feel like I’m just floating on it all right now. Thank you.