Saturday morning we helped paint the office building at a local mobile home park as a part of Mercy Church’s Adopt-A- Block ministry (I love our church!) and then we headed out to the Sycamore Mineral Springs where Jon had booked us a room for the night. We felt a little funny showing up to this nice resort for our anniversary in ripped jeans and covered in paint, but oh well.
After a few hours at the resort we got dressed up – sort of- and went to Novo for dinner. So. Stinkin. Good. And the ambiance was lovely.
We ended up taking pictures of our food; something we recently made fun of a random couple at a restaurant for doing a few weeks ago. But it was just so pretty, we had to!
Jon got the Duck Mole and I got the Green Chicken Chili Verde: a blend of Thai and Mexican flavors.
One of the best parts of the whole celebration experience: sleeping in the next day! I need to do that more often.
It’s Mother’s Day today! So happy day to all you moms out there! Since our moms live far away in Washington and Colorado, Jon and I celebrated by spending a great morning at church followed by a trip to Costco to stock up on the essentials. My most exciting purchase: Chocolate Cheerios! So delicious and not too sweet! You should get some.
And of course we called our mammas on the phone to tell them how much we love and appreciate them.
Remember when I posted about all those wonderful, crafty Mother’s Day gift ideas? Ha, well let’s just say my mother’s day gift didn’t really go as planned. Today I’m feeling very thankful that my mother has a great sense of humor because when I told her that the package full of specialty dark chocolate bars I bought for her had completely melted in my car when the day I planned to take it to the post office hit a high of 90 degrees - she just laughed.
So I’m currently working on a bigger, better project for her involving family photos that I will give to her at a later time. I’d say more about it, but my mom is nice and she reads my blog.
Other than my Mother’s Day project Jon and I are gearing up for some big and exciting things during the month of May…
- May 29th is our 1 year wedding anniversay! Wow! So we will finally be devoring the cake that’s been taking up half our freezer for the past year. Definitely looking forward to that!
- On May 28th Jon will be catering his first wedding for our friends Robbie and Michelle here in San Luis Obispo. Actually as I type, Jon is out ’n about price checking food at stores to prepare. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about the prep and outcome of this exciting endeavor as the month goes on.
- Next weekend we will be offically celebrating our anniversary with a mini-trip to a local getaway and dinner at Novo. We’ve wanted to dine at Novo for the past 3 years now. It’s one of the fanciest, best places to eat locally so I’m really, really excited!
- And of course, Jon will be taking his first set of finals! He really has been working so hard so it will be a great feeling of accomplishment for him to finish his first quarter of school. Go Jon!
Well this week is going to be full of wedding fun! My friend Nicole’s bridal shower is this Friday evening. Another friend, Michelle is having hers on Sunday. And of course, this week has officially been named Royal Wedding Week by the entertainment industry. I personally cannot imagine having billions of viewers witness my wedding on international TV, so God bless that dear girl Kate.
I haven’t done much following of the royal couple, but I do plan on “attending” their wedding via my television screen. There’s nothing better than a good wedding, in my opinion. Especially one where a regular girl next door falls in love with a prince and is therefore destined to become the future Queen of England. Meet Kate Middleton, modern day Disney Princess.
So while Jon is finishing up working on the brakes of our car this coming Saturday I just might make some traditional English tea and a plate of biscuits and throw a viewing party either for myself or whoever wants to join me.
The Los Angeles Times conveniently composed a complete coverage schedule so you can know what’s happening and when. And seeing as the wedding will take place at 3 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday morning (Actual ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on April 29 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London, England) there are a lot of chances to catch the rebroadcast on Friday or Saturday and I’m sure afterwards too.
Happy wedding watching!
The most sought after pieces of treasure in my family at the moment are the hand-crafted cork boards that my Grandpa Duchow makes. He and my Grandma Helen have had one of their own hanging on the pantry door in their kitchen for as long as I can remember. My grandma hangs her calendar from it, uses it to organize her coupons and they keep family phone numbers and other important information listed there. Theirs is large and takes up the top half of the door.
When I got married last year, Jon and I were gifted one of our very own. So we have tried to follow suit. We hung it in our kitchen and so far, we generally use it to hang up the latest engagement pictures and wedding announcements we receive from friends because we are definitely in that stage in life where someone is getting hitched every few months or so.
The gift was meaningful for two main reasons. The first one being that my grandpa made it. He said he couldn’t decide which was more fun: fashioning the corks and the frame together or drinking the wine needed to accumulate the corks. And yes, each cork is actually from a bottle of wine that him and my grandmother shared (sometimes with help), although it takes them a while to accumulate this many corks, also a reason that this gift is such a labor of love.
Secondly, my Grandpa Duchow was unable to attend my wedding. I got married in California and the trek from Washington can be a very long and strenous one seeing as you can’t fly directly into San Luis Obispo unless you’re willing to take out a loan from the bank to pay for the expensive tickets. So, the closest major airports are a good three to four hours away. I was sad he couldn’t be here to share in the day, but it was really special to receive such a meaningful gift from him. I think about him everytime I walk into my kitchen and glance at the cork board.
We hung it on one of the only blank spaces of wall in our kitchen. Living in a small apartment makes you prioritize your decor. There’s only enough room for your absolute favorite pieces.
Here’s the cork board undecorated. Really, it’s beautiful enough to hang it with nothing on it. However, like I said, small apartment, you gotta use what space you have.
I’m not sure exactly the process my grandpa used to make ours, however there are quite a few tutorials and step-by-steps online of how to make your own if any of you would like to try. Happy sipping!
Welcome to SLO; Chapter VII. The Wedding Voyage
The golden glow hovering over the hillside seemed to carry all the emotion that was needed for the day. Soft. Warm. Happy. And as the three ‘o clock winds were driven far away by the four ‘o clock stillness, a romantic melody slipped between the blades of overgrown grass and soared heavenward.
I got married on a California hillside on May 29th. Beneath a redwood arbor and across from a guy who literally is from my dreams. The 360 degree panorama showed no signs of sullied society. Just the beautiful, simple architecture of a most kind and awesome God; amongst a crowd of familiar faces and loving expressions. The slightest gentle breeze sent girl’s wispy hairs into flight and the almost summer air was fresh and clean.
And now, that one most incredible, unexplainable day is stored up in my mind “like a box of photographs with sepia toned loving.” The day came and then it went like a date night at the movies and when it was over, all we could do was laugh and cry as we drove out of the whirlwind and into a place where things seemed to get a whole lot more simple for a while.
During my six months of being engaged, the increasing anticipation was like living in an extended college dead-week, rushing around trying to prepare for finals. I ate weird meals on the go, I figured out how to put on make-up and eat cereal and text at the same time, and I slept with a pad of paper next to my bed in case I remembered something I needed to do the next day as I was falling asleep, a little trick that provided the bit of relief I needed to sleep more than a few sparse hours at night. Even spiritually speaking it was difficult to slow down enough to settle into my familiar place with God because somehow things like when I would get the chance to go buy more hot glue sticks for the glue gun and romantic daydreams always seemed to interrupt my prayerful thinking. Many of the times I attempted to focus on God turned into another fifteen minutes of composing a to-do list.
But God is merciful and thanks to Jesus and his ever-constant efforts to keep my life moving in a direction that is fulfilling and meaningful and true, even my season of engagement chaos proved to be a time of growth and an ability to carry more responsibility.
After four trial runs of perfecting wheatgrass growth, those stubborn little seeds refused to grow properly for my wedding day and I will forever resent them. So the grass was sparse but that was my only complaint of the day; hardly something to complain about.
The actual wedding day was completely surreal due to how smooth and easy it was. I got dressed up. I had someone else do my hair and make-up instead of doing it myself. I sipped coffee and ate muffins and hung out with the bestest of friends in my life. And then I marched down an aisle of handpicked rocks from Montana De Oro to stand facing my favorite person in the world. And then I told him some things that I’ve been telling him for a while now, but this time it was just in front of a lot more people who cared to listen. And that was that. We pressed our lips together and the preacher told me I had a new name.
It was that simple and normal. But not normal all at the same time. It was wonderful. Mysterious. Gloriously magnificent. Freaky. It felt a lot like meeting Jesus actually. Like in that moment every past relationship, every bad memory, every mistake got erased because as far as Jon was concerned it never mattered. And as I walked back down the aisle I walked straight into a new life where once again, everything was new and changed.
And the whirlwind continued and came to a climax as we sprinted through a tunnel of screaming friends with neon glow sticks waving excitedly, breaking up the darkness of the evening turned night. The day came and then it went like a date night at the movies and when it was over, all we could do was laugh and cry as we drove out of the whirlwind and into a place where things seemed to get a whole lot more simple for a while.
After two days in Cambria in a beautiful modern hotel, we woke up at four a.m. to drive to San Fransisco to catch our flight to sunny Puerta Vallarta, Mexico – the place where sun junkies go when even California can’t fulfill the relentless vitamin D craving. We got McMuffins for breakfast on the way and like usual for car trips, Jon drove while I slept beside him in the front seat.
The next eight days were incredible and we found ourselves jumping at every opportunity to do everything our lifestyles never permitted us to do in the past two years of knowing one another. We slept in till eleven a.m. every day, we ate fancy meals at restaurants right on the beach and I even spent an afternoon watching trashy teen soap operas just because I could. But mostly we just enjoyed each other’s company and talked about how cool it was that we could officially plan our future lives together now. We spent a day riding mules and zip-lining through some trees. I spent some time bugging Jon to tell me about his favorite baby names. And without sounding too cheesy or sentimental, it was honestly a week of just realizing why I fell in love with Jon in the first place. He’s my favorite person to be around and thank God somehow I got him to think the same about me.
Our two story, two bedroom apartment overlooks a parking lot and a few more two bedroom, two story places. And as I drum my fingers across the keys to type my sweet husband is sitting on the next chair over strumming some lovely song on his guitar. Marriage is sweet. And I haven’t yet come to the valley of resentment or to the low places that I hear I will experience sometimes in marriage – so far I think God has been allowing me to experience the simple, unmerited gift of being imperfect yet feeling utterly secure and safe – so I can only write about the sweet strolls through the meadows of commitment and the fact that it’s lovely to share more life with him than I ever have with anyone else.
And the best thing about marriage is that I get to keep the details between myself and my other half. It’s a special kind of relationship where the world is left uninformed and so it remains a mystery. It’s the greatest thing to know someone, to share the special things in life, and to keep the secrets.
And it’s just one of those things where once you’re on the other side you can truly say the grass in greener. And it is. It’s really green over here.
Welcome to SLO; Chapter VI, Wedding Season
It’s December, but it’s all sunshine outside with pink glittery stars growing from all the tall trees outside my apartment and the grass is like thousands of soft gold strands that gently bend in the breeze like little ballerinas. Bluebirds wake me each morning with a sweet song and follow me wherever I go, singing a chorus of happy tunes. And they tuck me into bed at night with one of their songs and a kiss.
This is a season of my life that will never come again. And that’s a good thing. It’s special that way. I have a sixty year old piece of hardware wrapped around one of my fingers, a worthy man who put it there, and I’m preparing to choose between taffeta and silk, a very weighty decision indeed. And suddenly I’m wondering if it’s still okay that I sleep with my childhood blanket each night. Everyone seems to have a different opinion.
My life has, almost overnight, morphed into a string of ever increasing important decisions, so much so that I hardly realized that Christmas will be here at the end of the month and I will be nearly five months from marriage. It’s wedding season and I’m preparing as best I know how. And regardless of how much or how well I prepare, on May 29th 2010 it will happen; I will make a set of promises that last a lifetime and I will become the strange and beautiful phenomenon known as a “wife”. So although in a sense the bluebirds are real, at times the reality is so overwhelming that I admit I’ve shot a couple bluebirds and the flock continues to diminish as the weeks go by.
God is the same, which is comforting. Very comforting. Because marriage is by far, thee most challenging and worthwhile pursuit I’ve ever set out on, next to deciding to follow Jesus, of course. And I’m reminded of the difficulty almost daily as I stop to notice that I’m feeling a little “off” most of the time. I’ve picked up running as a hobby again as an attempt to balance myself out and I’ve also started playing the board game Settlers. Because unlike planning a wedding and a future, it’s something I can put my mind to for a couple hours and then its game over. So there’s a huge feeling of instant accomplishment and relief.
So here’s to the new year and the official countdown to bride-dom that begins after the holidays. And here’s to shorter chapters because I really am too busy to sit down and write for very long these days. I’d much rather spend time dreaming up dreams with my fiancé and trying to actually write a Christmas card or two!
La Dolce Vita