Category Archives: Family, Friends and other Humans

august thirty-first


I’m married!

The David and I got married on August 31 on a very sunny Saturday in Oakland.

It was a gorgeous day and it somehow, miraculously, turned out just like I had pictured it might.

We’ll get access to use the photographer’s photos after the new year, but in the mean time, I’ll try to convey what it was like with the various snapshots I have.

Overall, we wanted to feel like ourselves and I shied away from anything that I wouldn’t normally do. I wear dresses, but I don’t wear gowns. I like to decorate with flowers, but I don’t carry them around with me.

Normalcy be damned, though. I started weeping in the morning while I was getting ready and continued to do so off and on. So a lot of what I remember is crying and trying not to.

We both wrote our own vows, which ended up being even cuter than I thought we were. One of my favorite bits was The David’s promise to love me even when I have the snots, which he said precisely as I was blowing my nose.

Lisa Congdon officiated for us and did a wonderful job of it. She got married a few months before us. Leading up to her own wedding, she wrote so genuinely about her joy and delight in love. The sound and sentiment of her beliefs were exactly what I wanted I wanted to be surrounded by while we did the marrying. And fantastically, she agreed to give some of her Lisaness to us.

75 of our friends and family came to spend the day with us, including The David’s parents, his sister+brother-in-law+their-3-kids, and one of his buddies from England. I had a goodly representation from the east coast. But the majority of the guests are a part of the family we’ve built for ourselves here in the Bay Area. I was struck by how special and fleeting it was to have all of our people gathered together in one place; there will never be another opportunity like that.


I was surrounded by my best ladyfriends, who all picked out their own yellow dresses: one from my first real job, my sister-in-law, one from high school, and one from college.  (A fifth intended lady friend had had some unexpected travel conundrums and couldn’t make it.)

David wore some yah-HELLOW pants and all his dudes wore bow ties and blue gingham shirts. It was great. A fantastic blend of British and San Francisco hipster.



I had wanted the dinner to look and feel like something that I might have invited you to in my own home, without formal floral arrangements or place settings and I think it turned out beautifully. A dear friend and her mom sewed the yellow gingham table runners for me. The dishes and utensils were all compostable. The flowers were arranged in jars and cans that I’d saved for the past few months.

The food was fantastic. Seriously the best wedding food I think I’ve ever had. We had ribs and bbq chicken, a kale salad, a roasted corn and zucchini salad, and whole wheat mac n cheese. There were incredible deviled eggs, watermelon skewers, and sausage rolls passed before dinner. And there was an amazing cheese table. Later we had two kinds of pie, strawberry rhubarb and blackberry nectarine, with sweet cream ice cream.



We demonstrated our swing dancing skills (rudimentary) for our first dance to Mumford and Sons I Will Wait.

1173878_436104783175252_2144697979_nThere were far off fireworks at the end of the night over the Oakland A’s coliseum. We packed up a ton of leftover food and a million flowers and went home to our new house.

I don’t feel different, but I do feel amazed and happy that we did it. And I am, as ever, surprised at just how much I lucked out with this fellow of mine.



Filed under Momentousness, Special happy things, The David

On June 26th


Five years ago today, I met The David. At a wine bar that no longer exists. I couldn’t stop giggling about the Britishness happening. I don’t remember too much about that night, but I do know that he asked if we could meet again on Sunday and that I said “yes.”

Since then, there’ve been a lot of other yeses. Not least of which is the promise to stand up with our friends and family in 66 days and say yes forever a thousand times.

I take it for granted that we are allowed to get married. It was such a momentousness for us to come to the decision ourselves, I can’t fathom anyone or anything else making a contribution to that decision. So today, on this big anniversary, I am grateful for the strides made in granting the right to marry to everyone. It’s been a wonderful day to appreciate what I have and how much it means to me.


Filed under Special happy things, The David, Today

i think i wanna marry you


This is pretty old news now, but it’s time to note it for posterity: The David and I are getting married!

And when I say that we’re getting married, I don’t just mean that we got engaged, but literally that we’re getting married. In like 2 seconds. On August 31.

There wasn’t a proposal, per se, but on the couch in our living room, after work on Friday, April 12, there was a conversation that resulted in the decision that we should get married.
The words “we might as well get married” were issued. I almost swooned at the onslaught of romance.

And on the tails of this decision, we learned that the green card The David thought he would be getting through his employer was actually not going to materialize and that since he was almost all out of visa juice, he’d have to leave the country in November of this year.

Hence, the 4 month engagement.

And then we went out and drank beers and ate tater tots with cheese and bacon.



Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Momentousness, The David, Uncategorized

I will always have gum


You were born on Saturday. It was cold and sunny. I wondered about when you would turn up all day long.
Your mom did a good job cooking you (she even gave you 8 extra days) and I’m very proud of her.
You have squishy plump cheeks and ears that like to fold over under your hat.
Very nice to make your acquaintance, kiddo. We’re gonna have great times (when you stop pooping in your pants.)

So glad you’re here, baby.

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Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Special happy things

sometimes i invite you to stuff

popup tree invitationHere is an invitation I made with my mom and sister-in-law while I was trapped in Boston during Hurricane Sandy.

I co-hosted a baby shower for my very best friend and since I don’t have sisters or other very best friends, I wanted to put some elbow grease into it.

In fact, it was so special of an event, I wanted to borrow some other people’s elbow grease, as well.  My mom wrote all of the messaging and addressed the envelopes, Nicole helped me assemble all of the pieces together, and Caroline made the die-cut trees for me and then FedExed them from Florida.





Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Up to Stuff

a walk in the woods

Oh, the camping outing this past weekend was wonderful!

We went to Big Basin last year, and loved it so much, I suggested we make reservations again this year and call it a birthday outing for David (whose birthday is tomorrow).  It’s definitely a cozy thing to do as a couple, but the idea of having a group around the fire also seemed really fun.  So we booked 2 cabins and The David invited some folks and it all panned out pretty wonderfully.

There’s a 12 mile hike out to the beach that we had wanted to do last year and which, surprisingly, pretty much everyone was game to do.  Only Steph and Mike stayed behind, worried that their woofer, Coco, wouldn’t make it the whole way.

The park is home to the largest continuous old growth redwoods south of San Francisco, which is my kind of park.  Redwood forests are so shady and cool, with a refreshing, slightly damp, kind of air.  Occasionally, you get dapple-y bits of sunlight or beams shining through the trees.

Almond butter and jelly sandwiches and jerky and carrots in the woods are fantastic.  Also, sitting on a log, after you’ve hoofed it for a gabillion miles is pretty excellent.

We saw a bunch of deer in the woods.  Also, banana slugs.  I will not out the person who screamed like a girl in horror each time I pointed out one of those yellow monster-creatures.
There wasn’t much uphill slogging, so although it was long, it wasn’t as arduous of a trek as we might have feared, and definitely a really lovely way to have spent the day.
And then drinking wine and beers around a fire, bundled up against the cold, cooking sausages and hamburgers, making s’mores, and laughing into the night… it’s definitely the right kind of way to spend some days.


Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Up to Stuff

out of towners

It’s amazing, but wonderful, the way that internet friends sometimes turn into regular world friends. And then it seems sort of funny to think back on the origins of your knowing one another.

Such is the way of Margot.  Although, Margot and I weren’t even especial internet friends… we just agreed to be stranger roommates at ALT Summit.

And that almost seems funnier to me than just knowing her online, that we actually met at a cacophony of girly top knots and colored jeans.  I guess I wouldn’t call either of us poster girls for the event.

Which is maybe why it makes sense that we’ve kept in touch after the fact.

Anyway, Margot and her fellow, Chad, were in town from Chicago for a wedding.  They stayed in our living room and didn’t cram either of the cats in a stew pot, so they totally deserve a prize.

We took them to Homeroom, the land of a thousand macaroni and cheeses.  And they came with us to a see Andrew Sean Greer and Daniel Handler be funny.  They were easy and amenable and made me feel happy about knowing people out there who are smart and interesting and talented and artistic.


The artisticness was like magnets, drawing them the incredible, neon-imbued, Lisa Congdon.  I interloped on their lunching (and took a photo with my fisheye lens.)
20121015-144529.jpgAnd then they flew away back home to Chicago, where they will continue to be amazing.   I will follow along on the interwebs, waving my little admiration flag.

Thanks for including us in your visit to San Francisco, guys!  We really loved having you.


Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans

where the david was

The David is back home again!  He’s a little tuckered out after the 8 hour bus ride to Santiago, the red eye into Miami, the 6 hour flight to San Francisco and the 5 hour time difference.  Not to mention the billion days of hiking and camping.

Acancagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia.  The climb is not technical (so no belaying and climbing up cliff faces with ropes and harnesses and stuff), but is still highly challenging and not for everyone.  The altitude definitely contributes to the difficulty; they had to get prescription meds to combat altitude sickness.
On this trip, they went up about half way up, but had to come back down to camp at the base of the mountain for a few days due to high wind storms.  One day was spent entirely sitting inside tents.  The David described this as “not so fun.”  In fact, he dubbed the whole thing as “Type 2 Fun,” which means it was only fun in retrospect.
After waiting it out for 4 days, the winds abated and they did make the trek up to the top of the mountain, but had to extend the trip by an extra day to do so.

But home he is, and all is right in the world again.

26 days without him, most of them without any sort of contact at all, was far too many.  During all of the pathetically sad missing, I was having some very stern “Never again!” sort of thoughts.  But he’s just so pleased with having done it, the accomplishment of reaching the top of this 22,829 foot mountain, that I’m not sure I could really say no.

Now that it’s all over, I’m actually quite proud of him for doing it.  He really is pretty awesome.

On the way up.
Little orange tent and lots of mountain.
Tent near the top.
David at the top.  He got a little teary up here, a bit overwhelmed with having made it.
Back down again at the end of the trip, looking at back at Mount Acancagua.


Filed under The David

sunday crafternoon

On Sunday, I had a bunch of my local lady friends over for a “crafternoon.”  The intent was to give everyone a few hours to dedicate to a craft project of their choosing or to just learn something new.

As is my way, I was worried about how it would turn out, but it was great!  There was a good combination of people who just worked on their own thing, people who wanted to learn something new, and people who were both.

I had a few Smitten Kitchen nibbles prepared for the occasion.  Deb’s cheese straws get my highest encouraging recommendation for your next social occasion.

Here are some crafty visuals:

Painting wood cross-sections with chalkboard paint while wearing a necklace of felted wool beads.

Little blocks of paint and pages of text and collage-y bits culminating in adorable, whimsical little pieces of art.


Needle point.

Wrapping bangles with fabric.

I had been wanting to try out the felted beads for ages, so having an afternoon set aside for this express purpose was really satisfying.  And it’s just so much funner to try out new things with someone else, isn’t it?


Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Nifty things, Up to Stuff

separation anxiety

It’s been 17 days since The David left for his mountain climbing expedition and 14 since the last time we spoke on the phone.  There are still (at least)* 14 more days to go.

And it sucks.

I am wallowing in a big sadly fug.

There are plenty of activities on my dance card, and I had thought that that would see me through alright, but I’m starting to wish that I didn’t have any of those things to do so I could just curl up at home and suffer quietly, alone.

Here’s a list of what seems like the best possible way to get through the remaining forever:

1.  Potato chips (varying flavors)
2.  9 or 10 hours of sleeping a night
3.  Samoas
4.  Special Edition Samoas Ice Cream
5.  Pyjama pants

So, it’s going well, right?


*There’s a once a day satellite uploaded audio cast from the group on this expedition and the last one made it sound like they might not be coming back on time.


Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, The David