Archive for the ‘marriage’ tag
Not Ivory soap this time.
That would be the anniversary of the first official date (we went out to dinner at The Blue Nile) that John and I ever had. We don’t remember what the actual date of the date was, but we do remember that it was the Tuesday just before Thanksgiving. Hence, we refer to it as the “floating anniversary”.
So every year we go out to dinner on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to celebrate.
This year we went out to El Meson, which disappointed us slightly by changing their menu. They used to have a tapas menu that was over two pages long. They have since cut their tapas menu down to a mere half-page. Don’t get us wrong – the food was just as delicious as ever. But we were disappointed by the drastic reduction in options for tasty, tasty tapas.
Our wedding anniversary is also sort of a floating anniversary – I can easily remember that we got married on Memorial Day weekend, but I had to look at the marriage license to be reminded of the exact date. I actually don’t remember a lot of dates… my birthday, John’s birthday, Mom’s birthday, Dad’s birthday, Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary, Ted and Sabrina’s Wedding anniversary (this is easy… same as Mom’s birthday) … and that is really kind of it off of the top of my head. Everything else important is (I hope) written down on my calendar where I can refer to it as needed.
Talking over dinner last night, John and I realized that the floating anniversary of our first date is also just about the half-anniversary of our wedding.
I swear… we did not plan it that way.
Almost a month ago exactly, my youngest brother Kevin and his longtime girlfriend/fiance Christine got married.
They live in Aliso Viejo, CA, so John and I flew out for a long weekend for the event. We stayed at Dana Point, on the marina, and the ceremony itself was just a little way up the coast, at a very lovely location overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach. It was very overcast on the day of the wedding, right up to about a half-hour before the ceremony, when the clouds all blew out to sea and the bright, bright sun came out.
As an interesting aside, John and I had spent the morning tramping around the Dana Point beach and marina, and hadn’t bothered much with sunblock since it was overcast out. Turns out that you can sunburn just fine through clouds, and we were unfortunately pretty red by the time it came to shower and dress for the wedding.
Initially Kevin had asked me to be their official photographer for the wedding. I spent about a week hemming and hawing over the prospect, before demurring. I just don’t have the same level of equipment that a professional would have, and knew that I would feel terrible if I missed an important shot. When I got o the ceremony location, I was glad of my decision…it was a beautiful spot, but the sun was so bright and harsh that photography was a little bit difficult, and I hadn’t brought any external flashes to provide any fill light to balance out the bright (backlighting) sun.
As a result, I didn’t feel like I took a lot of photos, and I put off downloading and working with them for a while, because I was afraid that the few photos that I had taken would not have turned out very well.
It turns out that one person’s famine is another person’s feast, and the “not a lot” of photos that I took turned out to actually be well over 400 shots. Gotta love digital photography. I remember well the days of film, when you had a couple of rolls of 26 (or 24) exposures, and by golly, you hoarded those exposures and tried to make every one of them count. Because when you were done, that was it. No more photos. Now I have a 12G flash card in my camera and almost never have to worry about running out of space.
Here are some of my favorites.
All of the photos from the wedding can be found here, on my flickr site
One of the many family photos – Sabrina and Ted with Carole and Howard. Isn't that a gorgeous dress?
It is still summer here in Dayton – hot and dry – despite the occasional fall smell to the air and the small piles of dead leaves that some of the neighbors have started to rake to the curb. The dead leaves are mostly just dead from the drought, though. There is some color change happening, but not much, not yet.
Ann Arbor, on the other hand, is pretty deep in the grip of fall. When we were there for Ted (John’s brother) and Sabrina’s wedding it was chilly (in the 60s) and rainy. Neither of us had really packed for chilly and rainy. We had packed for hot and dry. The first thing we did after getting there (after checking into the hotel so that I could change into the one pair of jeans that I had packed) was to go to the mall so that I could buy a sweater. (We went back to that same mall during a rainstorm the next morning so that John could buy a fleece.)
When we left Ann Arbor after the weekend, it was about 60 degrees. When we got back home to Dayton three hours of driving later, it was in the low 90s. 30 degrees of difference. Three hours driving due south. That’s about 10 degrees difference per hour driven/70-ish miles traveled. I find it impressive that the difference is so marked. Though shouldn’t be too surprised as it is the sort of thing that makes it possible for John and I to comfortably camp in the Smoky Mountains at the close of October.
With spectacular timing, the weekend of the wedding was also the weekend of the first UM football home game. I think that John and I were the only two people in our hotel who were no only not there for the game, but who had no interest in the game at all. Seriously, when we stepped out of the elevator on Saturday morning, the hotel lobby was awash in a sea of blue and gold shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, ball caps, blankets, and more. Seeing all of the football crazed people and the students partying (open container laws be dammed) on the front porches and yards of their houses was odd. You don’t see behavior like that in Dayton. Or maybe that sort of thing is in Dayton, but just not where we live… Eh. It made me glad that I am no longer a student and no longer have to deal with that kind of crazyness.
Besides the wedding (the obvious highlight of the weekend), the trip to Ann Arbor ended up being, for John and myself, a test to see how many of our favorite old restaurants and watering holes we could visit… a quest to eat our way across Ann Arbor. We managed to hit Amer’s Deli, the Arbor Brewing Company, The Blue Nile, The Broken Egg, the Flim Flam Diner, Café Felix, the Jolly Pumpkin, and The Black Pearl. (Upon special request I stole one of the Café Felix drink menus.) Not bad for a quick trip. We missed a lot of the “big” restaurants that we liked (like Café Zola, Grizzley Peak, The Earle, Dolche Vita, and the Southwestern Café, to name a few) because most of our big meals were part of the whole wedding experience package. We also skipped a lot of the pubs near campus (like Ashley’s) because frankly I couldn’t stand the thought of trying to wedge myself in on a game weekend. I wanted to eat lunch at Zingerman’s Deli, but when we walked past in on Friday, the lunch line was out the door, so we passed right on by. We bemoaned the fact that Dayton doesn’t have the same richness of independent pubs and restaurants that Ann Arbor has.
We also stopped in a lot of secondhand bookstores. And art galleries. And we found a very awesome robot store where I couldn’t help but buy a bunch of neat little trinkets and toys.
The day of the wedding was also my Mom’s birthday (I will never forget their anniversary!) and International “Talk like a Pirate” Day. No jokes, however, were made, though the groom was made aware of the humorous convergences. Arrr…
The wedding itself? Beautiful. They got married and had the reception in the Michigan Union.
I hung out with the women-folk before the ceremony, and John hung out with Ted. I got to lace Sabrina into her dress (it had a full corset back) and was informed that people got some good pictures of the procedure. Hopefully, I will get to see some of those pictures.
During the ceremony itself, I manned the video recorder, so I have no actual still photos of the ceremony. Thankfully, the ceremony was pretty short. We forgot the tripod for the recorder and I had to hold it up and as steady as possible myself. Even the lightest recorder gets heavy after a while…
I got to put down the recorder (they only wanted the ceremony videotaped) and got to pick up my camera for the rest of the evening – from the group photos during the hors d’oeuvres hour, through dinner (some of the best wedding dinner food that I have even eaten – I had the steak and it was tender and juicy), through the cake cutting, and dessert, and first dance, and mingling – and I think that I got some good shots.
John’s Mom made the cake, and used the same recipe that she did for our wedding. It was delicious.
I loved the favors that Ted and Sabrina chose – red and white wooden roses. A lot of them ended up being left on the tables afterward, so I picked up enough to make a good-sized bouquet to take home. Flowers that the cats won’t try to eat? Yes, please.
The reception ended at 9pm, and since we were already all dressed up to go out, John and I went downtown to have snacks and drinks and play cribbage at a martini bar.
It was a good weekend.
Photos to come, of course…
One year ago today we had a small group of close family and friends over to watch us get married and help us celebrate. I don’t think that it is a stretch to say that it was one of the best days of my life. Looking back on that day… it was perfect. There is not a single thing that I would change or do any differently.
One year ago tomorrow we got on a plane and flew to Maui, and the night we landed we drove up to the top of Haleakala to watch the sun rise.
This is our favorite picture of us together. Some random stranger took it for us shortly after the sun rose over the cloud cover. (Thank you random stranger, you did a great job!) We’ll be back there someday.
Happy anniversary, John. This has been an awesome year.
I love you!
Forget-me-nots are my favorite flower.
When I was working out what I wanted to do for my wedding bouquet and boutonnieres last year, I didn’t much care what other flowers were in it as long as I had forget-me-nots and the other flowers I picked looked good with them. I didn’t think that it would be easy finding forget-me-nots at a florist (afterall, they are hardly a common bouquet flower) so I made sure that I had some in my garden that I could pick and use.
John and I both have fairly straightforward taxes, and it takes less then an hour with tax software to take care of them.
Since this is the first year were we are entitled to file differently then we have for all of the previous years of our lives, we were curious if it would be more beneficial for us to file separately or jointly. In other words, marriage tax penalty, or marriage tax break?
Actually, it turned out to be marriage tax nothing. I ran the numbers, doing a joint return and separate returns for the sake of comparison. We (collectively) get more money back by filing separately, but there was no big difference between our tax situation this year and our situations last year. Eh, worth a look-see.
I know that getting a lot of money back from the government at tax time is bad, because that means you did your witholdings incorrectly and basically gave the government a big, interest-free loan over the course of the year. I know that ideally you actually should owe the government a tiny bit of money at tax time.
I know that, and yet I still love getting my refund check. When it shows up, I will dance all of the way to the bank to deposit it.
It feels like free money to me, since it is money that just shows up (kind of) and that I do not have a plan for.
Also, I have no idea how to update my witholdings since one of the reasons I get a chunk back every year is because of being a homeowner. I am pretty sure that the tax forms that I had to fill out for payroll at work don’t take that into account.
Also, I just don’t like the idea of having to write off a check to the federal government.