Act 3: The Aftermath

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Because we didn’t have our friends at our wedding, we thought it might be nice to have a potluck at our house so that we could gather our local-ish friends and any family members who were still in the area to bask in the glow of our loooove (sorry, ew). So, we sent out invitations notifying everyone to come to our house, along with their favorite food and/or beverage, the very day after our wedding.

Awww, how cute!

We frantically ran around trying to clean up the house, which actually looked pretty spectacular prior to guests showing up. Even the basement only had the faintest smell of cat-pee (but smelled mostly like Febreeze). Mom helped out tremendously (thanks, Mom!), and we even had time to sit down and say, “dang, I’m so hungry! where is everyone??? when is the food going to show up? should we just order some pizza???”

We didn’t have long to wait, though – friends started arriving and pretty soon, we had a full house. We had 74 people over that day, and it was so good to see everyone! I had friends from grad school and work there, Chris’ friends from school and the army showed up, and because a lot of Chris’ family is in the area, we had some of them show up, too. There were people upstairs schmoozing and intermingling. There were kids all over the place, playing video games in the basement and dismantling board games like Cranium and Battleship. There were five cats cowering in terrified confusion (somewhere). Success, right?

Ladies in the living room: Julie, me, and Jill – I met this dynamic duo in grad school and our mind-meld caused us all to wear black and purple on the same day. Amazing!!!
Chaos in the kitchen! This is where the beer was.
Bedlam in the basement! It’s a good thing we had this room open though, otherwise the upstairs might have resembled an over-stuffed clown car.

Right! The food was good, there were no unforgivable beverage spills, and we succeeded in putting all the elements of each board game into their proper box. We even managed to recover all five cats! My mom and step-mom did an amazing job cleaning the place up even before everyone completely left, and we had leftovers for a verrrrry long time. As a matter of fact, I think there’s still some cracker dip in the fridge. And plenty of plates/dishes/food containers that are now orphaned because we don’t know who they belong to.

Hey, you kids! You’d better make sure those plastic ships and bombing pegs don’t get lost in our special collector’s edition of Cranium!

It all went better than planned, and it was so good to see our friends, many of whom traveled a fair distance to be there. Thank you so much for visiting us! It was the perfect way to round out our wedding weekend, and share our experience with so many of our friends and family.

Next up: our final wedding exclusive – The Honeymoon (a.k.a. The Afterglow). We can then get back to reporting on our normal lives, alright?

Dang, this is a LONG intermission!

Well, the professional wedding photographs are finally here, folks! You can view them in the slide show at right, or by clicking here. I hope you enjoy them – Chris and I think they are fantastic! They were taken by Courtney Blaisdell (see information in previous post), if you need a kick-ass photographer for your event and are in the Portland area.

Woo hoo!!!

Pimp Style.

Intermission…

We’re interrupting wedding-of-the-century post-game coverage (a.k.a. the William and Kate of the West) to bring you this sneak preview of professional photographs taken on March 19, 2011.

Courtney took some wonderful pictures of Chris and me and has shared a few of them on her blog: Courtney Blaisdell Photography. I’ll be posting the entire photo collection soon…and yes, there are pictures of the dress!

Enjoy!

Act 2: The Main Course

I suppose you’ve probably had enough of the Anticipation and are probably ready to move on to The Main Course, right? Chris and I are back from our post-wedding travel adventure (a.k.a. “honeymoon”, but I’m getting tired of that word), so I figured it’s now time for a blog makeover (thanks for the shoe picture, Tyleen! it’s getting a lot of mileage, including being used as my facebook profile picture) and a new post. So here you go.

If you’re reading this, it is likely that you were at the wedding. But just in case you weren’t, I’ll fill you in. Unfortunately, I don’t have a huge number of pictures yet – I didn’t take any, and I’m still waiting from some pictures from family and our professional photographer. But I’ll share what I have here.

The day started where I left off from the previous day (duh, right?). Mom and I went to pick up the cake, which, unfortunately, was not exactly what I wanted even after providing elaborate instructions to the baker. In all fairness, my original baker canceled at the last minute and the new baker did her best…but I’m still debating whether or not to send pictures in to Cake Wrecks. And, not that I’m any kind of bridezilla or anything (I really don’t like to even characterize my role in the day as “bride”, I just hate the way it sounds), for the sake of full disclosure, I did have a minor hair freak-out. Because I had gotten my hair fabulously straightened the day before, it was a little too slick and didn’t have any volume for putting it up the way I wanted…what originally was to be a couple of large, loose, Princess-Leiaish buns looked more like two small snail shells that further emphasized the largishness of my head and flatness of face, instead of delicately de-emphasizing these tragic features and flattering my head in its entirety. Unfortunately, I had no back-up plan, so I had to just wear my hair half up and half down, with little bits sticking up in the back and generally looking retarded. Looking back on it, I really wish I had just tried a bit harder to wear my hair up, dang it! What was I thinking??? Oh well – I’ll end my rant here. At least I didn’t have any excessively gigantic zits growing out of my nose or anything (and if I did, I would’ve had plenty of bindis to cover it up).

Glamor hair. My follicles are biologically incapable of doing this. 

This more accurately resembles my look on my wedding day. Without the beard, of course (no offense to Russell Brand – we love him!).

Chris and I went to the Vintage Plaza Hotel in downtown Portland where we met up with our photographer and got ready for the wedding. We reserved a fantastic suite there, which came with champagne for us with which we pre-funked in preparation for the evening. After taking a bunch of photos (and yes, some of them actually show my dress), we hired a town car to take us to Caruthers Landing, on the Willamette River, just south of OMSI. Everyone met us there, largely on time, and looked fabulous! More picture taking ensued.

Free champagne! Free champagne!

At 6 pm we boarded the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, a river paddleboat. The weather actually held out – it has been an extremely wet spring (and winter, and fall, for that matter), but the rain gods had apparently decided we’d had enough, or maybe they just wanted to watch the ceremony and wouldn’t have been able to see through the clouds otherwise. In any case, we only got a few sprinkles of rain, but it was actually fairly clear, if not cold (what did you expect, Koski? It’s mid-March in Portland, duh!).

This is the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. On a beautiful, sunny day. I did not take this picture.

Chris and I decided on a very small wedding – partially to keep the cost down (and it was spendy enough, my goodness!), partially to keep it nice and intimate, and mainly so that it wouldn’t spiral out of control and become a gigantic wedathon with all manner of matrimonial nonsense: man-and-wife-this, remove-the-garter-with-his-teeth-that. Don’t get me wrong – it’s ok if that’s your thing, it’s just not mine (um, I mean Ours. Yes, Ours, ahem!). So, we only had our immediate family in attendance – mainly parents and siblings, about 20 folks in all. This also made it so that everyone could actually fit on the bow of the boat so that we could get married outside (standing room only). We asked Chris’ long-time friend to perform our ceremony for us, so he got Internet-ordained lickety-split like and, after a couple of readings from our mothers, declared us Chris and Marci, husband and wife, partners in crime, accomplices of sorts.

My mom (anxiously going over what she was going to read), and the rest of us (goofing off).

Once our ceremony was over (what, 15 minutes or so?), we ran inside (dang, it was colder than we thought it would be) to warm up over appetizers. Did I mention this was a dinner cruise? Oh yes! A wedding and dinner all in one place – just to make things extra easy. It was a public cruise, so several more people came on board for dinner, but really, there weren’t very many people – just one deck was filled. Dinner was actually pretty good – I think I had salmon ravioli. We had a few small nieces and nephews running around, and I must say, they behaved amazingly well. I was thinking it might get too late for them, but they all played together just fine and I think they had a good time. Whew!

Oh…*that’s* why they had a good time…

During dinner, the boat cruised up and down the Willamette River, down to the falls, then up again. In the summer, the boat cruises on the Columbia River, but sticks close to Portland in the colder months. A bunch of us went up to the wheel house, and the captain let me steer the boat. And I didn’t wreck it! Actually, I think Abby (Chris’ 4 year old niece) did a better job at steering than I did, but I also got to blast the horn. It was pretty loud. I think it made a few fish lose the contents of their lower digestive tracts.

One of the things the dinner cruise did not have was music, or dancing. I was a little bummed out about this, but figured that it was just one of those trade-offs for having a quirky venue. But it was ok, because Chris is amazing and I married the right guy. We had our moment, just the two of us, after we left the wheel house. We went back inside the boat on the upper deck, where there were no guests. Out of the blue, I heard Anya Marina’s “Vertigo” playing (the same song Chris played when he asked me to marry him)…I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from at first…and Chris hugged me and said it was time for our first dance. He had the song playing on his iPhone from his suit pocket. So we danced, just the two of us alone, and our photographer snapping flashy pictures. Awwwww!!!

Again, we don’t have the pictures back yet. But for a point of reference, this is vaguely what we looked like.

Meanwhile, downstairs on deck 1, the party was in full swing. Of course, they waited for me and Chris to return so that we could have a champagne toast (my brother Paul made an excellent toaster, but I will say that he can have his winnings when it comes to kids. We will be victorious when it comes to cats!). And we cut into our cake, which had, miraculously survived the constant scrutiny of 3 small children for at least two hours. I think I had one bite of it and made the determination that I’m not particularly a fan of fondant, nor does it go particularly well with banana cake. Bleck!

Stupid cake! I’ll get you in the end!

At any rate, that was about it. I was thankful for so many things that day. I was grateful for the love and support my mom gave me during her visit from San Diego. I was happy that my dad and stepmom made it out from St. Louis – I know that family stuff like this is important to them. I was touched that Tyleen, Brett, Paul, and Anne traveled from near and far for the occasion – I know it was a short visit, but meaningful nonetheless. I was honored that Steve performed our ceremony, even though it took him out of his comfort zone. And I am thrilled that I have new family members – Chris’ parents, grandmother, brother and sister-in-law. Most of all, I am relieved that I have lots of little nephews and nieces who love their Auntie Marci and Uncle Chris and their five adorable kitties sooooo much…perhaps our decision not to have kids won’t bite us in the ass after all!!!

Wedded bliss! Someone get that hair outta my face!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t have many pictures of the event (yet – we’ll get our professional photos back soon, I hope). I took the best of what everyone gave me and made an album which you can see by clicking here.

Can I wrap this up now? Thank you! Acts 3 and 4 won’t be quite as long, I promise.

Act 1: The Anticipation

Wow! A new post! Finally…I’ll bet your Anticipation levels were running pretty high now, weren’t they? So, things have finally gotten a little less crazy around here, and that’s no April fool’s day joke. I got a bunch of things done at work (but that never really ends, and there’s always more to do), and oh yeah, Chris and I pulled off that whole wedding thing, too. So that leaves me with a little time for a breather. Because the wedding was the main focus of my life for the last couple of months, that’s really all I’d been doing. I’d really like to blog about it, but it seems like a completely overwhelming task if I were to try to tackle it all at once. So, I’ve broken it down into four Acts:

Act 1: The Anticipation (what you are reading now)
Act 2: The Main Course
Act 3: The Aftermath
Act 4: The Afterglow

I realize that this is rather ambitious. But we’re going to start small. See, I don’t have a whole lot of pictures to describe the anticipation, aside from some truly embarrassing photos that my mom took while I was getting my hair done the day before the wedding. And now I share them for the world to see:

Oh yes, Mom, please take more pictures. They are soooo flattering!

Why, of course I’d like you to take a picture of my hair half done! Fantastic!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we had the most awesome invitations ever. I mean, you can’t look at these invitations and not pee yourself with Anticipation for what the wedding will be like, right??? Am I right???

Will it be a three-ring circus? An old-timey boat ride? Something between? Who knows?!?

So, that’s it for now. You’ll have to wait for Act 2 and beyond. In fact, you’ll have to wait until Act 4 (The Afterglow) has happened. Chris and I leave for our honeymoon cruise tonight and will be gone for a while. So, sit back, relax, and bask in The Anticipation of blog posts to come!

A 2010 Retrospective…Lamenting the Passing of the Best Year Ever!

Happy new year, everyone! It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to 2010, the Best Year Ever. Behold 2010, a year that sidled into my life without presumption or pretense, and now a year that has slipped away like grains of sand through an hourglass…these are the days of our lives…Wait – haven’t I heard that somewhere before? Dang, and I don’t even watch soaps!

But in all *seriousness* (because we all know how Serious I am), 2010 was a fantastic year. I’m left wondering how 2011 could possibly be any better, seeing as how so many crazy-rad things happened in the past 12 months. Like what, you ask? Well, how about the following:

So, can you now understand why I might be sad to say farewell to 2010? Yes? Oh, I know…your response is that 2011 will probably be even better. How is that even possible? Well, I’ll keep you posted on how that works out – be sure to check back soon!

P.S. – Did you notice how I kept last year’s resolution? I totally maintained this blog! I posted way more than in 2009…let’s see if I can keep it up in 2011!

A Perfect Day

Hello, fair readers! Merry Christmas, and soon-to-be happy new year! Before I write about any holiday goings-on, you might recall that a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post that was labeled “The mooshiest post you’ll ever see me write”, or some such tag. Well, apologies to you, but today’s post might just supersede my previous level of mush…so be forewarned!

You’re probably wondering about what A Perfect Day includes. There are three main elements, which include but are not limited to:

1. Harry Potter
2. Getting engaged
3. An incredible Bela Fleck show

Surprising, huh? I would’ve never guessed that these three things would be the ingredients in my perfect day, but there you have them.

Last Thursday evening, Chris and I drove up to Seattle to enjoy a nice little getaway to commemorate the occasion of our first anniversary (our first date was Dec. 6, 2009). We checked in at the Hotel Monaco where Chris reserved a huge room complete with a two-person spa, which we took advantage of whilst sipping room-service ordered champagne. Fancy, huh? It was a nice way to end a day of work and driving up to the city; I highly recommend it!

On Friday, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Sazerac (banana’s foster french toast…yummy…), then walked over to the downtown mall and hopped on the Monorail. We sped off to Seattle Center and headed over to the Pacific Science Center where Harry Potter: The Exhibition is making its last U.S. stop.

Riding the Monorail to Seattle Center
The Space Needle

Since we were there on a weekday, there weren’t that many people – we were let right in, just the two of us, and sorted into Gryffindor house (surprise, surprise) right away (although the attendant said that he thought that Chris belonged in Hufflepuff and I might fit better in Ravenclaw…go figure). The exhibit was actually really cool, and well worth the money, I thought – tons of actual props and costumes that were used in all of the movies, along with an audio guide. It took us about 90 minutes to go through the whole thing, but a big Harry Potter fan could’ve easily spent half a day or longer in there…I just didn’t want to torture Chris any longer than was necessary! And actually, even though Chris is not a huge fan, he did indulge me in watching all the movies, and I think he enjoyed the exhibit as well.

We weren’t allowed to take photos, so this was grabbed off the website. But it gives you an idea of the sets they had – pretty cool, huh?

After the Harry Potter portion of our morning, we went to the butterfly garden at the science center and ate lunch in the food court. We got to listen to a middle school band perform some holiday songs – they were really good – and Chris introduced himself to the director after the show. We hopped back on the Monorail and returned downtown, back to our hotel.

Chris and me hitchin’ a ride on a caterpillar… 

Zebra longwing

We had dinner reservations and tickets to see Bela Fleck at Jazz Alley that evening, and we decided to get all fancied up for the show. As I was getting ready, Chris asked me a couple of times if I was nearly done, and I noticed that he was repeating the same song on his iPhone. Weird, huh? When I got out of the bathroom, Chris said he had something for me, a small token of his affection for me, and he pulled out a small box with a beautiful diamond/palladium ring. It took me a minute to realize what was going on, and even then, I wasn’t sure until he said he would be the happiest man ever if I would marry him. My reply was that I would, of course, marry him…such a surprise! It turns out that the hotel was having their happy hour in the lobby so we went downstairs and got a couple of glasses of champagne, quietly celebrating our moment in the middle of a crowd of people who weren’t in on the reason for our grins. We played a couple of rounds of Guitar Hero with Bailey (on vacation from Australia with his parents), then took a cab over to Jazz Alley.

Chris picked out this ring all by himself – it’s quite gorgeous!
Our first photo together as an engaged couple :oP

Once we got to Jazz Alley, we ordered a nice bottle of wine along with dinner, which we consumed during the Bela Fleck show. He and the Flecktones played nearly their entire holiday album (Jingle all the Way), and it was a FANTASTIC show. Bela Fleck is an amazing banjo player, and along with the others (Futureman, Jeff Coffin, and Victor Wooten), the resulting music was fun, dynamic, and in some cases, unbelievable (e.g., the entire “12 days of Christmas”, with each day sung in a different key and time). They were accompanied by Alash, a group of Tuvan throat singers, and were equally amazing. Really, it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, with Alash in the back.

A kindly older couple volunteered to drive us back to our hotel when they overheard us inquiring about calling a cab, which was a pleasant treat at the end of our night. We had to get back down to Vancouver the following morning, but it was a day in Seattle that I’m sure I will remember for a very long time. You can see more pictures of our trip by viewing the slideshow to the right, or by clicking here. I’m so lucky to have been able to share that day – a perfect day – with the man I love so much!