Category Archives: Special happy things

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

belated birthday

There is a lot of belated going on around here, but the one I choose to report on now is my belated birthday, from last week when I went and turned thirty-six.

Prior to this birthday, there were many things transpiring. In the month of August, The David and I bought a house and we also got married. Which means that we had also recently spent a lot of time looking at houses, making offers, getting approved by banks, followed by packing up and moving and then living out of boxes, and clearing out an apartment that I’d lived in for 9 years. Plus the getting married!  I’m not going to list all of the things that went into planning a wedding in our four month long engagement, because I choose not to go back into that scary head place. Later. I will talk more about it later.

Suffice it to say, we planned to take a week off of work after the wedding, but knew that it was going to full of out-of-town visitors and unpacking boxes and putting up towel racks. It was nice, of course, to have the time off, but it was not a honeymoon of romance and relaxation and recovery.

But through it all, I had this far off knowing:  my company gives us a PTO day for our birthdays, so on Tuesday, September 24, I would have this random day off, all to myself.

That day happened and it was perfect.

The David knew of my wishes to spend the day lollygagging in bed with books and cats, so he (in a move that has totally sold me on this whole husband concept) prepped for my day by stocking up on snacks and my favorite Trader Joe’s lunch, chilling a bottle of vodka in the freezer, laundering all of the bedding, getting fresh flowers, and buying a stopper and a bath bomb for the bathtub.


So I woke up and The David brought me my green smoothie in bed for breakfast. This happens every day and is non-birthday specific. I know, I got a good one.

But then, I proceeded to not get out of bed. I cozied up with a novel and one of my fur babies.


I ate a bag of cheddar popcorn, still in bed, and finished my book.

I managed to get up out of bed and went for a massage, which was glorious. Followed by a pedicure, which was grossly overdue.

Then I came home, got back into bed and started a new novel, loving on a new cat.


Then I got up, and watched an episode of America’s Next Top Model, which now has boy models in it, but is otherwise still fantastically awful.

And then I made myself a cocktail! In a copper mug! (Vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.)
I sat outside supping on my drink and reading my book and listing to my sweet sweet booger cats yowling at me from the door.


The David came home with takeout from Homeroom, the macaroni and cheese restaurant down the street. We sat outside and started a fire in our new fire pit, drank Moscow Mules, and ate our macaroni and cheese.


I took a bath (not pictured) and went to bed.

And it was the best.


Filed under Special happy things, Today

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 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

Penny Lane. Er. Jane.

I have a new niece!

Penelope Jane came to hang out with us last week, on Tuesday, October 11.

Penny Jane 9 lbs 5 oz 20 inches

That’s a baby alright!

She lives in Boston, so I won’t be meeting her in person for a really long time.  That’s ok, though.  She can use some percolating time to get more interesting first.

Since the time that The David and I met and started dating, we’ve gone from 0 nieces and nephews… to 5.
That’s 5 babies in 3 years and 4 months.  His sister has had 2 girls and one of my brothers has begat 2 boys and this latest girl, Penny.

The David and I aren’t married, so even though his two nieces came before her, technically Penny is my first niece.  She’s the first girl baby in my family.

I was thinking about “real” nieces and psuedo-we’re-not-married nieces.  They feel mostly the same to me.  Maybe a little different.
Do they start feeling more equal when you’re properly married?  People are always saying that even though things are really the same on the surface, that it all feels different once you’re married.  Maybe this is like that?

And then I was remembering being a kid with an assortment of aunt and uncle flavored relatives.  Some of them were married in to being a relative of mine, but for the most part, those unions all took place before i was born.  There wasn’t really a difference between Aunt Maureen and Uncle Roger to me.

And now, for the grown-up me, there’s also this element of feeling like I have to make an effort with the pseudo-in-laws.  I care about whether or not they like me.  So I want to treat the little English nieces like real nieces.  Especially since if it were up to The David, he’d forget their birthdays, that they should get Christmas presents from their uncle in America, possibly even their names…

(Speaking of birthdays and Christmas presents… like I said, there are now 5.  5 little kids under the age of 3.  What do you buy these people for gifts?  Because Maggie does not know.)

Anyway.  There’s a new Hannon.  And she could go through the green glass door twice.  Just like me.

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

a very good birthday

We’ve been having this unseasonal warm and golden sunny weather lately here in the Bay Area.

It stopped on Sunday and got back to February as usual:  a steady stream of drizzly, gray, cool days.

But the blissful amazingness was still going strong on Saturday, which was a special treat for Jessica, who gets to have her birthday this time of year each and every year.

While I get all weird and jiggity about my own birthday, I’m definitely in favor of the institution in general.  And I was definitely in favor of a birthday flavored picnic near Stinson Beach on a warm Saturday.

It was a great day for pictures.  I took many.

It was also a good day for cheeses and rosé and tree swings and for the birthdays of best friends.

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The 2 People I’ve Known for 30 Years

My brothers are 30 years old today. My little brothers are 30, not 8.

The first Christmas with 3

The first Christmas with 3

Of those 30 years, I probably hated them for at least 10 and couldn’t be bothered for another 4. It’s kind of amazing that we now exist in an era in which I rather like being with them.
I don’t remember when they came home from the hospital (I was 18 months old) but legend has it that I started sucking my thumb on that day.
I probably never completely got over feeling jealous and out of place. But that wasn’t their fault. And they are the only people in the whole world who know what my growing-up was. I bet we don’t fully understand the grown-ups of each other that we are now, but there’s something to knowing one another’s pasts.

We’re not a family who says “I love you.” So I won’t do any of that here. But I’m happy to have them around. I’m glad that we can speak to one another, and in my family, I feel like that’s saying something, and I think we’re ok with saying that, at least.

Picture 2 It’s been years since we’ve spent any of our brithdays together, but as chance would have it, I’ll be seeing them both today. Buying presents for boys is never the easiest. Shopping for my brothers, in particular, seems to be especially daunting. But I wised up and went searching for T-shirts on Threadless. I found this one, which I think is quite clever. Quite a few years ago, the boys came out to visit and we went to a Magritte show at the SF MOMA, so we saw the real “This is not a pipe” together. Hopefully, they’ll dig.

Happy birthday, boys.

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

Alex & Emiliana

IMG_1774_1622Alex and Emiliana were married on Saturday at the Berkeley Rose Garden.  Emiliana was an old friend from The Princeton Review, the early years.  She was often gone for long stretches of time, going to school in Philadelphia, traveling, visitng family in South America.  But we became good friends.

I will never forget how she told me one day, at a concert at the Greek Theater “You’re not happy.  You should break up with Bob.”  In the rules of what’s allowed between friends, there’s definitely a chapter about being supportive of half-assed relationships.  Telling me that I should get out of it was a ballsy thing to do.  It took me a little while, but I finally did it.  And I thank her for planting that seed.

Evidently, I get some credit for putting Alex and Emiliana together, as each of them mentioned it several times that night.  Apparently, I finagled Alex, who was teaching SAT for me, to drive another local teacher with him on the job.  My intentions were decidely un-matchmaking, but rather came from a place of desperation.  About 95% of my job at The Princeton Review was spent trying to achieve the impossible and in doing so, coercion played heavily.  So, by having Alex drive another teacher, I now how 2 teachers out at an offsite location that required a car.  He says that he said he woudl do it if it was a cute girl.  I probably would have liked and told him it was the cutest girl ever, even it was that really fat guy with bad skin.  Luckily, it was Emiliana, who is very cute indeed.


Later, the naggy hens of the office manipulated Emiliana into bringing Alex to the office Christmas Party.  And it all ran a rather nice course from there.

I have such a huge love for both of them, nothing could please me more than to see them happily together.  Alex and Emiliana are such excellent, good natured, wonderful people.  It adds incredible richness to my own life to think of knowing them, and I’m sure that the joy they will continue to bring to each other will last for a very lovely lifetime.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful.  Emiliana looked like a South American movie star from the 1940’s.  The rose garden was a glorious splendor.  The ceremony itself was quite brief and I might have liked to have heard a bit more from them, but knowing them, I’m sure they were both quite nervous and happy to not have to say much of anything.  The reception was wonderful, at Dona Tomas, a restaurant that I had been to with Emiliana and her mom before.  The outdoor courtyard was just a perfect spot and it was a warm enough night that it was quite comfortable into the evening.  They couldn’t have had a nice day and there aren’t people who deserved it to be so perfect as they do.

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Two to the Fifth

Today is Jessica’s birthday.
Ever since I started doing things like turning 20, Jessica always did it first.  For that, I will be ever grateful.  It’s not so weird to be 24 or 29 or 31 when your soul mate does it first.  As panicky and weird as I have gotten over a birthday, I can only imagine that it would have a certain kind of awful if I didn’t have the knowledge that it was ok and normal, because that’s how old Jessica is.

And today she is 32.  I always have this sense of gratitude on her birthday and rather wish that I could wax nostalgic on her actual birth.  But thanks, all the same, to Crazy Janey and Jimbo who made it all possible.  And to the brothers, who used to feel like halfway to my own brothers, for being a part of that person.


I don’t know how a person like me got a friend like her, but I’m awfully glad that I did.  She’s the best sort of person possible.  She is patient and listens to people.  I get jealous, in fact, of just how well she can listen to absolutely dullards.  She is adorably (possibly freakishly) in love with her cats.  She has a wonderful fashion sense, appreciative of the right flavors of quirk, vintage, and classiness.  And she changes and evolves so that it’s almost kind of like having a whole new friend, who you immediately love from the word Go.  A new friend who suddenly likes miso.

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Filed under Girl land, Special happy things

Hey baby hey baby hey

David’s sister had a baby girl yesterday, Elizabeth Joy.

To be fair, David’s sister’s husband sent an e-mail with the subject Elizabeth Joy!

Some people interpret this to mean that they had a baby girl, named her Elizabeth, and then felt joy.

Other people may surmise that Elizabeth has a middle name and it may be Joy.

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Filed under Special happy things