Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sorting Hat

Why can't I just have a giant Sorting Hat like in Harry Potter that goes over the house and magically tells me where everything goes?
"These things in the Hufflepuff long term storage pile."
"These things in the Gryffindor immediate household goods pile."
"These in the Slytherin you-may-not-see-them-for-months-because-military-shipping pile."

My oldest son has one that the Major brought from DisneyWorld for him but it's not nearly big enough. This is a fairly large house and with four of us in it, we have too much stuff. My goal over the next couple of weeks is to pare it down much more. From furniture to pageant clothes, an iphone and old wedding ring, to a myriad of toys and collectibles I've never shown, I want these things GONE. Out of sight. Sold. Vanished. Most of the stuff in the house seems to be the Major's, minor packrat that he is. Only thing is, we USE everything we have. The six tubs of party goods will definitely need some readjusting. I can't bear to be without our Christmas stuff because the boys will be spending the holiday with their dad over the next three years. But I would still like to decorate our house on the island to feel like home until they leave.
And why can't there be a Sorting Hat to work thru feelings? As we work custody out with their dad, this is my hopeful plan. It's a readjustment for everyone. I can only hope the changes are helping my kids be more flexible and accepting, opening their minds to all the possibility that world travel opportunities have in store. There are fantastic resources out there and I'm implementing as many as I can to help them thru the transition. Military Kids Connect has a little avatar so younger kids can keep track of their travels with a stamp, coping skills for older kids and even Military 101 for newcomers to learn the lingo. I've been Googling like crazy finding sites for making moving easier. Frankly, some of these sites would probably help me too!

How about a Sorting Hat to go thru the bajillion things that have to be done before the move? Not to mention our trip to Europe in the big middle of it all! (Crap, I nearly forgot about that!) There aren't enough hours in the day to keep the house running somewhat smoothly and normally while also preparing for this worldwide change. Physically and emotionally, it'll be a challenge. You'll notice I'm refraining from negative connotations? I'm determined to be positive about this thru the long haul. After all, I'm moving somewhere exciting (lots of people who've been there before us RAVE about it!) and I'm doing this with my best friend and love and my boys by my side!

For now though, if you're friend or family and plan to come over, either excuse the mess or pitch in and help. Imma need a LOT of it. ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wedding of the century (Part deux)

I promised an extension of Wedding of the century (Part 1) so read it first before reading more!

Still getting over the shock of being married again and having been part of the fantastic flashmob! It's all happened so fast and now I officially belong to the military after getting my ID card and signed away my life for insurance and other things. The following are the vows the Major and I wrote together. Feel free to laugh, cry, whatever. We sure did!

The Major directing festivities as always.

The party dancing on my arrival!

SARA:  Mawwage... Mawwage is wot bwings us toogevver tooday. [This got a big laugh from the audience.]

I apologize.  J and H have clearly seen the Princess Bride one too many times, and they insisted we had to start that way.  But, if you know these two well, then that sort of thing should come as no surprise, for J and H are a couple who clearly always find ways to have fun with everything that they do.  It was this common spirit of playfulness and fun that first attracted them to one another, finally leading up to this blessed day, a day on which we are all now privileged to witness and participate in a ceremony celebrating the public acknowledgment of the love that J and H have for each other.  And, by our presence here with them, we confirm that they, together, are loved by many others.  We have come to surround them as they stand before us, where J and H in essence now say, “Welcome to our marriage!  Welcome to the celebration!”

To demonstrate the depth of their feelings for one another, J and H have each chosen a poem that, for them, captures their feelings on this day.

(The Major quoted this to me.)
She Walks In Beauty

By:  Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

(I read this to him)
Sonnet 12 - Indeed this very love which is my boast
By:  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Indeed this very love which is my boast,
And which, when rising up from breast to brow,
Doth crown me with a ruby large enow
To draw men's eyes and prove the inner cost,—
This love even, all my worth, to the uttermost,
I should not love withal, unless that thou
Hadst set me an example, shown me how,
When first thine earnest eyes with mine were crossed,
And love called love. And thus, I cannot speak
Of love even, as a good thing of my own:
Thy soul hath snatched up mine all faint and weak,
And placed it by thee on a golden throne,—
And that I love (O soul, we must be meek!)
Is by thee only, whom I love alone.

SARA:  And now, having poetically expressed the depths of their affection for one another, J and H will share the wedding vows that they have written together.
J: I promise to always clearly explain my expectations rather than forcing you to guess at them and then getting angry when you’ve guessed wrong.  Do you promise the same? 
H: I do.  I promise to be a dreamer who ACTS on those dreams and includes you in them.  Do you promise the same? 
J: I do.  I promise not to play the blame game or to keep score, even if I am totally winning.  Do you promise the same?
H: I do.  I promise to keep the peace in our home with honest and open communication, even when my claws want to come out.  Do you promise the same?
J:  I do.  I promise to defend you against the slings and arrows of others, even when you’re wrong.  Do you promise the same?
H: I do.  I promise to always be myself, even if that means growing and changing with you.  Do you promise the same? 
J:  I do.  I promise to give you the benefit of the doubt and always listen to your side of the story before I yell at you.  Do you promise the same?
H:  I do.  I promise not to let my butt get bigger than it is right now, because staying healthy and fit means living a longer lifetime with you.  Do you promise the same? 
J:  I do.  I promise to make you laugh every single day, whether intentionally or not.  Do you promise the same?
H:  I do.  I promise that when I’m really angry with you I will shut my mouth, count to as high a number as necessary until I’m calm, and then come back to talk things over with you when we’re both rational.  Do you promise the same? 
J:  I do.  I promise to do the things that neither of us wants to do, if you really don’t want to do it more than I don’t want to do it.  Do you promise the same? 
H:  I do.  I promise not to promise something and then do something completely different.  Do you promise the same?
J:  I do.  I promise to show you every single day that you are loved and appreciated.  Do you promise the same?
H:  I do.  I promise to always keep you pleasantly surprised, even when you outdo me!  Do you promise the same?
J:  I do.  I promise to resolve our differences in private and never in public or in front of the children.  Do you promise the same?
H:  I do.  I promise never to take you for granted.  Do you promise the same? 
J:  I do.  I promise never to make you read any of the Twilight novels or to see any of those awful movies, or any movies featuring emo vampires that sparkle like a My Little Pony.  Do you promise the same?
H: I definitely do!

SARA:  The rings please.  [Best Man / MoH produce the rings.]  

You have for each other these special rings – symbols that love is the most precious element in your life together. A ring has no beginning and no ending, symbolizing that the love between you will never cease. You place these rings upon each others fingers as a visible sign of your vows this day, making you husband and wife.  

J:  With this ring, I thee wed.

H:  With this ring, I thee wed.

SARA:  In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, and in accordance with the laws of the state of Oklahoma, it is my honor and delight to declare you husband and wife.  You may now kiss the bride, and never ever stop.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. & Mrs.!

Thank you everyone for joining us here today.  As everyone but Heather already knows, there will be a picnic reception immediately following the ceremony. So, let the wild rumpus start!

(Thanks to Brandi for these awesome shots!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wedding of the century (Part 1)

(Seriously, there's so much awesome to this wedding, it needs a couple of posts to keep from being tl;dr)

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 started off beautifully. Smooshed between two snow/ice filled days, the day was a bit brisk but very sunny and warmed up with very little wind. I was surprisingly relaxed, waking up next to the Major as we talked about the things we needed to do before the wedding. My dress STILL did not arrive (in fact, it came in Monday night. It may soon be for sale. Watch for postings.), but the dress we had worked well, especially with the new purple heels my girls Anne and Jessica helped me pick out. I put the finishing touches on my flower/brooch bouquet with brooches from my grandmothers, great aunts, mom and friends. Isn't it pretty?

The Major vacuumed a bit and we picked up around the house since my family was coming over. Frankly, we are such an old married couple attuned to each other's needs. Though the last week was a difficult one full of tears, fears and disappointment, we tried to focus on the positive. This was our wedding day!! He left for several hours and I relaxed, gradually starting the process of getting
ready, which kicked into high gear when my girlfriends arrived. But it seemed something was up. Strange texts from my MOM and the photog to my MoH. Earlier in the day, the Major washing random china pieces bought for the wedding party in June. I racked it up to nerves because it was just a weird thing to do. After spreading glitter all over the known universe, I was finally ready to go, sharing a few happy tears with my girls and plenty of laughs, coffee and chocolate. They went on ahead while I traveled with my mom and her fiance. (She had the most fabulous deep purple hat in keeping with my desire for a fun wedding.) I had quite a bit of excitement in the car but I was still calm, reflecting on the man waiting ahead of me with my sons. Today wasn't about what I was wearing or who would be there but just on the fact I would be married to this man who loved me.

After parking and as we walked up to the Myriad Gardens where we were meet the few family and friends, I saw another friend filming us with his iPad. I hadn't invited him and became a bit suspicious. Hmmmmm. The wedding was supposed to be small. Anne's boyfriend Isaac then came out filming us, wearing purple as well and a super cool top hat! My mom led us around the side and knowing there wasn't an easy entrance there, I asked about it. And then I saw the people. Dozens of people peering over the side of the waterstage amphitheatre at whatever was going on below. Music was playing and there were purple balloons and ribbons in the trees.

We stopped at the top of the stairs and I see about 60 or so people dancing to my favorite song that gets me thru the hard times, Dog Days are Over!! Every person, including children, is wearing a hat! My kids have little top hats on too! In the middle of this craziness is the most wonderful man in the world who had organized a Mad Hatter Tea Party wedding flashmob, in just a week's time. He had called all my family and as many friends as possible, organizing a secret Facebook group where they could plan it all! The teacups he had washed that morning were stacked around the edge of the waterstage, 100 tea flavored cupcakes made by my sister with potluck picnic lunch for attendees and unending JOY. I stood in shock as I spotted the Major dancing next to his best man who had secretly flown in from Boston that morning. My mom pulled me down the stairs and people were cheering like crazy! I couldn't get down the stairs and to the Major fast enough. My words to her were: "I know you were walking me down the aisle but can I go by myself? I just HAVE to get to that man down there! I gotta get to that man!!" I flew as fast as my three inch heels could carry me, launching myself at him and kissing him. I couldn't believe he did all of this! We have the most amazing friends who participated EVER!

Thank you to all of those who came to our wedding and celebrated with us. Thank you to Sara, our awesome officiant. Thank you to my wonderful family!!

We love you!!
(Continued with the vows later and we're making a kickass Youtube video!)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Caged Bird Sings Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. I'm not bashful in saying I'm two years shy of 40 and I look fabulous! This morning, the Major and the boys got up early, went to buy donuts for me and surprised me with breakfast in bed. Noms topped with birthday candles! We sat on the bed and ate the sugary deliciousness until it was time for school. The youngest had crawled into bed with me to snuggle for a few minutes alone first, telling me "Now you're 21!" He's been especially snuggly recently, what with all the craziness going on. I'll take what I can get as he'll soon be too big to want to be a snuggle bunny. :(

Tonight, we're celebrating and saying goodbye to good friends Sophia and Matt who are moving to San Fran. I still hope there's cake. Tomorrow, I get the BEST present I could possibly want though. I get to marry the man it seems I've waited forever for. Like everyone else led up to him. The rush up to the wedding and the worry about everything complicated about the move to Japan have had me on the verge of tears and hysteria for the last week. Then I get the bad news late last night that the tailor who made my dress, who had PROMISED it would be here either yesterday or today, didn't send it until last night. Le sigh Sent me into a crying mess of ick. Not quite Bridezilla, thankfully.

The birdcage headpiece I made for tomorrow.
Sure, I know it's just trappings and frills. But this was my Dream dress. When I got married the first time, I was young, impetuous and living in a fantasy world. My mom, who got married far too early (thanks to me), didn't get to have a large wedding so I agreed to just about everything she suggested for our wedding, only insisting on the colors I wanted. And it was gorgeous! Truly a beautiful ceremony and reception for 450 people. Yes, there really were that many invited. I don't begrudge her that at all. But the dress style of the time was poof, pearls and padding. I rivaled Lady Di in her regalia.

As I stated above, I'm nearing 40, I'm a woman who knows what she wants and I want the pared down classiness instead of the pomp and circumstance. Though what I had been planning for June WAS going to be fan-freaking-tastic! Maybe it's some selfishness. But a woman is entitled to want to look and feel her absolute best on her wedding day. The secondary dress we bought the other day isn't quite what I want but it'll do. Because tomorrow, I wed the Major, my best friend, my lover, the one person in this world who truly understands and loves me for all my flaws. He thinks I'm beautiful when I'm blubbering incoherently in my pajamas. So I'll make the most of tomorrow. I'll buy some amazing and colorful new shoegasms (because what outfit is complete without them?), see my family and many of our friends at dinner at a local Japanese restaurant and live and love.

That's what it's about. Year after year, getting older, wiser and happier. Yes, 38 will be the year of change and amazeballs discovery! Bring it on, Life!!

Major, Biggun and Bunny, I love you three with all my heart. Thank you for being in my life. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


After the initial shock has been faced, and all our friends and family told the news of our impending move across the world, the stress has set in, but to a lesser degree. Granted, I've never lived anywhere but here in Oklahoma. Except that fun summer in the Allegheny Mountains at camp. But still. And the closest to being out of the country I've gone is  a week in Montreal for a conference and a few days in Barbados. Bless him, my husband at the time had the flu and that was supposed to be our honeymoon. I saw the ocean for the first time by myself while he languished in the humid hotel room with earaches and stuffy head.

This Italian/French honeymoon with the Major would have been the trip of a lifetime for me. Getting to finally seeing parts of the world I could usually only access thru the internet or by going thru his pictures. Now, I'm facing MOVING across the world. About 10,092 miles away, in fact. Away from my own family and friends. Of course, my boys have a bit of trepidation about it. They're gaining a stepdad plus face being in a new school again and trying to make new friends in a country where even the letters don't look familiar. I can understand that completely.

Not my kids but this reminds me of them.
I love my boys to pieces and would do anything for them. We had to think long and hard about getting married in the first place as this possibility of moving was there. Could I handle moving them? Could *they* handle it? New school, friends and way of life. And yet, they are strong little boys. Resilient and a bit willful, but absolute joys to be around. That's what makes it so hard for some people to let them go, to let them experience the wonders of the world, even at a tender age. I understand it. I really do. Only I'm lucky in that I get to experience it with them. I'm not a homebody. Never have been. I love having my roots somewhere and a place to go back to but I need to roam. The next few months will consist of lots of questions of and by my darling little ones, with some hard truths coming out on both sides. And I ache for them.

All I can do is pray to God for peace and understanding on either side of the coin and hope we all see what is truly good for them and not just for ourselves.

Monday, February 18, 2013

今日は, Alice. ワンダーランドへようこそ (Good day, Alice. Welcome to Wonderland.)

"Nothing is constant but change." - Heraclitus

Over the last two years, I thought the evolution of my life had changed me from a single celled organism to a complex, happy little cephalopod, shuffling along. In the next six months, I'm about to evolve again: into a wife, a stranger, a world traveler.

You see, Dec. 31, my love and my life proposed to me, surrounded by some of our friends and our kids (We wished it was all of them!) while we were in Taos. The landscape is beautiful, the snow plentiful and it was the start of an unexpected journey. I may be short and he may have Hobbit feet but what we didn't think of was the surprise Gandalf would deal us this past Friday.

We were just getting into a groove! The kids are doing extremely well in their new school, though they're both shy and don't quite know how to make friends. They're doing well in sports too. The Major was preparing to move to another squadron on base into a training position and life has been great. We had scheduled our wedding for June 22 with an Alice in Wonderland/Edwardian era themed wedding. I finally found my dream dress and had it ordered. Only the details of decorating and picking out the menu remained. Our wonderful friends were offering to help in various ways and we were looking forward to seeing some out of town family and friends all in our backyard. It would have been perfect.

Before the wedding, since the Major's son is graduating from the American University of Rome, we were also planning a "honeymoon" trip to see him with my kids. We're to be in Rome for a few days, then trek to EuroDisney for a few days and then leave the kids together in Rome while the Major and I went to Venice for a couple of days. The best trip in the world! Right? Everyone could be happy about seeing amazing places and we'd be together. I had started the passport process, thankfully.

After the wedding, I'd really learn what it was like being a military wife with access to healthcare and other things. I was already learning the lingo by doing lots of research and reading. And knowing what questions I could ask which would be answered. We'd be able to stay here for a couple more years at best and the world would be at ease.

Seems Uncle Sam and the Universe are conspiring.

In wonderful and scary ways. In six months, this will all drastically change and I'm praying it all works out for the best. For now, I'll leave you with the following to see what it is we'll actually be doing for the next three years.

We're moving to Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan.

It's all too much to take in at once. We're pushing the wedding up to THIS SATURDAY with immediate family and a couple friends. We have to get paperwork started so that the kids and I are on the orders. Hoping to do a reception/going away/get rid of the booze because we can't take it with us party in May or June but as we don't know the exact order dates yet, that's hard to organize.

Check in regularly for updates as I plan to share the ups and downs (within reason). There are some delicate matters which will NOT be discussed in this or any other forum and I ask that mutual friends refrain from gossip and speculation, especially concerning the kids. All we ask is your patience and love.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Giggly Snort

So I live with my fiance now and very very soon we'll be marrying. It's so awesome how well we get along. So much so, that I've been giggling in my sleep. I didn't believe him until he posted this:

He is in so.much.trouble. My public shame= snorting when laughing too much.

Friday, February 15, 2013

History and pushing limits

It's been far, FAR too long since I've written. Amazing, wonderful things have happened in the House of Y since my last post. Upcoming marriage (yes! I said that right) and a trip of a lifetime to Rome, Paris and Venice. I have so much to share but it's a bit overwhelming at the moment.

I promise to update you all very soon on the goings on over the last few months. Until then, enjoy this awesomeness: