Category Archives: marriage

half of an epic celebratory weekend

Once upon a time this blog was about how we ran off to Canada and eloped. Wednesday will mark three years since that happened.

three years married!

We also have Jess’ birthday to celebrate the day before, so we usually try to make a fabulous weekend of it. Last year we took a road trip on the coast. This year we kind of casually picked a few things that sounded fun without a ton of planning and somehow managed to have the best weekend I can remember.

Since we made reservations for an eight course vegetarian dinner at Tilth in Seattle, I proposed a lunch of nothing but milkshakes and Jess obliged.

We simultaneously came up with the genius idea of trying a salted caramel milkshake at Molly Moon, because that is how our marriage seems to work. And you guys, holy crap.

I have since decided that this will be my birthday present to myself come September, as well as my last meal if I ever get the death penalty. I know salted caramel was on trend like five years ago, but it will never stop being amazing. Salty + sweet = true love forever. I probably won’t need a salted caramel cupcake again because this exists.

We people and boat watched at Gas Works Park, where even the garbage on the ground was romantic.

Then on to Tilth where we planned to go all out and get the Grand Eight Course Vegetarian Tasting Menu. To our surprise there was also an amuse-bouche, so it was more like nine courses plus cocktails and the house made sodas I just had to try.

I won’t bore you with 12 pictures of our dinner, especially since we sat inside so the photos are lighting-challenged. How about some highlights:

the most perfect shot of asparagus soup and a slice of heirloom tomato with preserved lemon and basil

a porcini flan and grilled cauliflower with pickled garlic and truffle oil

sasparilla and rhubarb-ginger soda, served with classy giant ice cubes!

strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with chantilly cream

Everything was so fresh and flavorful and delicious, we ran out of compliments to tell the waitress when she checked on us during each course. And we enjoyed the fanciness of it all. I was overly amused by Jess’ napkin getting refolded for her while she was in the powder room. One time while she was gone the maitre d’ and the waitress each folded it for her. Awesome.

Then we had a gorgeous sunset drive through Seattle before heading off to downtown Tacoma for alchemy drinks at this place we’ve been meaning to try for ages.

1022 South is named after it’s address on J Street in downtown Tacoma. One part old apothecary, one part classy bar, they make fancy cocktails with homemade bitters and botanical infusions.

This was just round one: cherry shrub – rum, tarragon, amaro, cherry balsamic shrub and drunken boat – blackstrap rum, ginger liqueur, house made ginger beer, flamed angostura bitters

I wish I had a video of my drink on fire. Everything tasted amazing, and it lit a fire under us to experiment more with homemade syrups and even shrubs (apparently and aged fruit syrup).

After drinks we ate a caprese plate of tomato, basil, fresh mozarella and balsamic reduction and drank tons of complimentary cucumber water to sober up before driving back to Olympia. I can’t imagine anything more indulgent, but this was just DAY ONE.

More tomorrow, if you can handle it.


Filed under family, marriage

my favorite wedge issue

This was the first day we met. We ate organic lollipops. I took this photo with my cell phone.

We ran away to British Columbia and eloped, and we promised (among many other things) to see/share the world together.

We merged households via the most epic, extraordinary roadtrip/honeymoon. It included the Grand Canyon, the painted desert, a sunset over New Mexico, a visit to Dollywood, the largest Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the world, a historic mental institution, many beautiful bridges, the dinosaurs featured in PeeWee’s Big Adventure, redwood forests, Oregon sand dunes, and the feedlots of California.

Since then, we have gotten married another time (thumbing our noses at Prop H8), built a garden, bought a house, built another garden, survived being middle school parents, and had a lot of hilarious, delicious, wonderful escapades.

For our anniversary, I did a little math. We have driven 6,591 miles on road trips together, which does not include any trips we make regularly, like Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma, or any airplane miles. We have visited 14 states, and traveled to Canada (which counts as international travel because it requires a passport!). We are writing our own song of the open road. That’s not bad for two years with full-time jobs!

During our honeymoon, we drove from San Francisco, CA to Florence, OR on U.S. Route 101. The beauty of 101 along the Oregon coast is humbling and amazing. For our second anniversary, we drove the northern part of Oregon’s 101, and across the Astoria-Megler Bridge to visit Long Beach, WA. It was an excellent road trip, and the perfect way to spend our anniversary – small towns, fancy hotels, weird tourist stuff, and plenty of beach. We have stories & pictures galore to share.

(this photo was taken at Cape Meares, which is a magical place full of extraordinary things, including tufted puffins and a tree shaped like an octopus)

Some day, I would like to drive the rest of US 101. Driving the Washington portion of 101 would include a visit to Forks, hometown of the fictional Bella Swan! I’m not sure about the southern California part of 101, though. Isn’t it, like, really hot there? (please note: we are wearing hoodies in mid-july in that photo) I appreciate historic highway routes, and the stories they hold. We have traveled parts of Route 66 & the Lincoln Highway too, but 101 is the most convenient. Our town is the northern terminus of the route.

Life has been a wonderful journey since we joined ourselves in marriage. Our plan is to keep doing our part to keep the divorce rate down, and have some more excellent adventures.


Filed under family, marriage, summer, wedding

City of Destiny

We spent some time in Tacoma this weekend in an effort to escape the mountain of chores that pile up in a garden this time of year. Oh, I planted peas and watered the seedlings and turned the compost, but no one felt like building or shoveling. So, Tacoma: Procrastination via staycation.

We missed the movie we wanted to see at the Grand Cinema by just a few minutes, and the bakery we wanted to visit was closed due to the Sundayness. Tacoma thwarted our best intentions, but we had a little antique shopping and walking around downtown exploring alleys and taking photos of our own shadows.

Before I moved here, I didn’t know much about Tacoma. Maybe they had a big dome or something? What does anyone even know about Tacoma? It has an Aroma, I think? But I’ve grown to appreciate Tacoma as the most sizable city the shortest distance from Olympia. Just in case you need to see big old buildings to feel like the whole world isn’t a small town, which I occasionally need.

Krista loved this old, uninhabitable building on Broadway. I loved the Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle) next to the building. Those plants are native to Chile, but they are all over the PNW.

In Pittsburgh, part of what I loved about the city was the way that decay and neglect led to recolonization of concrete by hardy little plants, “weeds” and mosses. Tacoma has some lovely west coast examples of this phenomenon. Can you tell I got a haircut and lopped off 4 inches of hair? No? Really?

But it’s officially spring! The equinox has passed, and the sun is coming out!


Filed under honeymoon, marriage, spring

if life is a game, i win

I know everyone probably (hopefully) loves their spouse, but it’s hard to believe that I’m not the most spoiled, pampered, indulged person. First, when we were discussing the garden, Krista said to me, “Just buy whatever seeds you want. We can grow whatever you want. It’s better to have too many seeds.” Do you know what that sounds like to a person who reads seed catalogs for fun? All I could say was, I totally agree and I totally love you.

Then, Krista took it upon herself to learn how to use power tools – table saws, circular saws, drills and other tools I probably don’t even know about – to make a raised bed for our garden. I came home from work and found it in the driveway. And she still had 10 fingers! Then, she built some more.

Isn’t it beautiful?? And you should see how cute she looks in her safety goggles. The beds are all 8′ long, and today Krista measured out all of my seed packets on top of one bed. Seed packages, asparagus crowns, rhubarb roots, and seed potatoes. It’s a little ridiculous that there are more than 8 feet of seed packets in my house, but I’m so thrilled by the seeds we chose.

So, these are the first photos of our 2010 garden. Baby photos, or, like, embryo photos of the garden. I really hope I’m done buying seeds and stuff now. Well, mostly done. You know how it goes.

While Krista may have been a little surprised at the volume of seeds we own now, she didn’t miss a beat. Her reaction was to build a muppet face out of the rhubarb root, an asparagus crown, and a few seed potatoes. This is the sort of thing that affirms your belief in the awesomeness of your marriage. It’s like always being on the winningest team.


Filed under home, marriage, spring, urban farming

one year

Today is January 20th, 2010. A year ago, I was filled with hope for the future. I wrote President Obama a letter from our family, the three of us, about how we hoped he would be a great president for us. Last night I told Jess we should make a Hawaiian themed dinner to celebrate Obama’s first year in office. This morning, I would rather hold off on the pineapple and celebrate Cindy McCain.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is John McCain’s wife for the NOH8 campaign, supporting equal marriage rights for all Americans. Uh, Michelle, did we get the wrong first lady or what? I like the organic garden and First Beehive but I’d rather have equal rights.

I continue to keep trying to read through the updates on the trial tracker, and today has been both emotional and educational.

There was the testimony from a guy whose parents found out he was gay at a young age and put him through “therapy” to “fix” him. He describes how his mom told him she wished she had aborted him, and would have preferred he was born with Downs Syndrome. As a young teen, he basically lost everything. His parents went from loving parents who packed his lunch with notes in it to being verbally abusive. After years of dealing with it, in lieu of killing himself, he left home and turned himself over to the Department of Human Services in Colorado Springs and tried to support himself at age sixteen. How many kids out there are strong enough to survive that?

The really eye opening part of the trial today has been testimony from Dr. Gary Segura about the political power of gays and lesbians. It still baffles me that people get to vote on my civil rights, but when they do 70% of the time people vote against us. This is not just about marriage. It is votes on things like, for example, whether or not we should be protected from discrimination in employment and housing. Segura’s testimony says no group in American society has been targeted by ballot measures as much as gays and lesbians. Undocumented aliens are a distant second. He also talks about how we have virtually no voice in the legislature. There aren’t enough gays and lesbians in office to have our voice heard. There are US senators openly comparing homosexuality to bestiality, though. And then there’s Obama.

From the Trial Tracker (keep in mind lots of shorthand, it is amazing they are able to get down this much info so quickly!):

[UPDATE] 11:47
Prop. 8 Trials Professor Segura: Obama is not a reliable ally for the gay and lesbian community. Read on.


Current president has refused an order from the chief judge of the ninth circuit to provide domestic partner benefits to court employees. Also, filed briefs that support DOMA and has done nothing to repeal DOMA or DADT. This is not a reliable ally.

You’ll have to excuse me if I am getting too political. I’m normally kind of a disappointment in that category. I really should be a lot more political. So actually nevermind, I shouldn’t ask to be excused. I am almost never political on the internet, and we need to speak up for ourselves. My mom was shocked the first time I corrected her and admitted that yes, actually I do get discriminated against for being gay. Even here in Olympia, WA, a very gay-friendly place, I have been gay bashed (even in front of my own kid). I’m sure that is hard for any parent to hear. I think a lot of people don’t get the reality. I live in my own la-la land, too, happy for everything we have and ignoring the rest of it. We see rich gay people on TV and people believe that gays and lesbians are powerful, wealthy, and accepted. That is not the overall reality.

We personally are harmed financially. I pay more taxes than my straight co-workers because the federal government requires me to pay tax on the money my employer pays toward my wife’s health care insurance. You know how expensive health care insurance is these days. All that money is counted as if it is part of my income. Our marriage is not recognized by the state we live in. Right now I’m doing each of our taxes separately. Anyone who has ever done taxes should realize that alone is JUST WRONG, forget about all the tax breaks we miss out on. If you think that marriage is magically a separate issue and somehow you are not being discriminatory, you are deluding yourself. Try to remember that gay people are still being murdered for being gay. In fact, according to today’s testimony, the rates of these crimes are not only increasing, but seem to be increasing due to the campaigns to prevent gay marriage. While hate crimes against all other minorities have significantly decreased over the last decade, hate crimes against us are increasing. I am so sick of hearing about supporters of these campaigns being discriminated against because people spray painted their signs or (gasp!) stole them out of their yards. They are saying they are the victims of hate. Our people are being murdered, and your signs are being tagged? It is time to put things in perspective.

I tend to think there is little point to speaking out. People are going to believe what they believe and never change their minds. I am wrong. People change their minds. This video of the San Diego mayor, a Republican, a police officer for decades before his political career, had me in tears. He explains (to many people who will be very disappointed) why he decided at the last minute not to veto a measure for gay marriage, and how he realized that he had been discriminatory in being for domestic partnerships and civil unions. “The concept of a separate but equal institution is not something I can support.”

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trial tracking

It’s finally Tuesday! You may be sad that your long holiday weekend has come to an end, but my weekend has just begun. Your weekend being over means that the Prop 8 trial is back on. I can now resume refreshing the Prop 8 Trial Tracker every ten minutes. While the trial and its outcome are serious business, those Prop 8 supporters are good for some laughs. Who knew homophobia could be so funny? Sure, it might be better live on TV or YouTube, but since they did everything they could to keep this trial top secret, we will have to settle for reading the live blog account of what is going on.

Oh, and allegedly there is now a Shiba Inu Five puppy cam, featuring the new litter from the mom of the Shiba Inu Six. I haven’t been able to catch any live puppy action yet.


Filed under marriage, pets

For the Good of the Order

For the New Year, Krista & I are going to attempt to blog as two separate people (gasp!), so you will hopefully see content from two authors in the future. In the past, Krista has mostly taken the photos, but most of the blog updates have come from me. We’re new to this; we might experience some identity confusion when we log in incorrectly, so I thought I’d warn you. Considering the amount of trouble I had setting up all the separate stuff this morning, it might be rocky. Of course, things may go very smoothly and then, well, you would never notice and this post would have been for naught.

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Filed under marriage