Category Archives: Excited!


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….

It’s easy being green! (Who knew?)

On Wednesday I had a number of things on my ‘To Do’ list for the day. If you’ve ever seen my ‘To Do’ lists they’re not small in stature… or in quantity.

What to do... what to do...

What to do... what to do...

My plan was to eat breakfast, work on my dress, pull weeds, eat lunch, go to the gym, work on cleaning up our tree grove and take a shower. Busy day, no? Uh, yeah… That’s how I do things. I think I need to look at all the things I want to do and feel if I accomplish half of those things for the day that I’m doin’ great!

So, back to Wednesday…. I ate breakfast, I worked on the dress…. That’s as far as I got. BUT! Not only did I work on my lovely green, linen wedding dress, I finished it save for the hemming at the bottom and neck line. Not too shabby, eh?!

So what if I only accomplished one thing or so on the list. It feels like I did a pretty good job of it. I was extremely careful. Read and reread all the directions. Measured, measured, measured! I only had to rip about 6 inches of a seam for the whole thing! (It was a tricky curve.) And making a wedding dress between the hours of 9 and 2.30…? Pretty fast job!

Can you tell that I’m really proud of myself. I’m also very relieved to have that out of the way, albeit not completely, and amazed that it was so easy. I really want to try more and more patterns… Who knows what I could make!?! And I’d only get faster and better until I wouldn’t really need a pattern! But before I get over the top and start telling people that I can make their wedding dresses as well as their bridemaid dresses and the groom’s tux, and, and…. I think I’ll just be pleased as punch about my own triumph. I’d show you a picture, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!! (Plus, I’d have to kill you.)