Thursday, July 17, 2014

wedding #1 of our summer

Remember when gay people couldn't get married in the state of Maine?  Remember when we campaigned for Prop One in 2012?  Remember when we did a flash mob in Bangor in support of Yes on One, and danced and cheered and hoped and prayed that Maine would vote the right way?

and then when Prop One passed, we had a big ol' party?!

look at tiny Reed!!!

The way that I explained Proposition One to my kids at the time of the election revolved around Sandi and Suzanne, who, by the way, have been together for 12 years.  Should Sandi and Suzanne be allowed to get married?  Yes, they should.  It only seemed fair and obvious to the kids, plus, they thought a wedding would be really fun. 

Having these two women in our lives has been an enormous gift from the beginning, and for many reasons.  I first met them when Suzanne was pregnant with Ella and I was pregnant with Skyler, so we have truly raised our kids together. We have also run, biked, camped, cooked, and laughed together through all of these wonderful years. They are godmothers to Reed and best friends to us, and one added bonus is that there isn't the slightest thing unusual to my kids about a two-mom family.

Reed once reported to me that a boy at school told him that a woman could only marry a man, and Reed said:  "Nuh-uh," and moved on. It's really that simple.

Just shy of two years after Prop One passed, and after Sandi finished grad school, the wedding we'd all been talking about for years happened, and we were all there to see it.  It was as joyful and love-filled as any of us could have dreamed.

Sandi and Suzanne envisioned, planned, and pulled off the perfect, small, intimate, private and romantic wedding.  We spent hours daydreaming and planning, and it was so much fun to watch it all come together.  They rented a huge home (mansion) on the coast for the event, and we arrived the day before to help cook and to begin the celebration early.  Check out this place:

The kids loved exploring this wild piece of property.  It was magical.

Between cousins and dear friends, there were 11 kids at the wedding and at the house.  They played hide and seek and ping pong and just frolicked around.  And even though I might have asked Suzanne several times if she was SURE she wanted all the kids there?  They were so right to include all the little ones, and the kids were AMAZINGLY well behaved.  Probably because they were so happy to have so much room to run and so many friends to run with, but man, they were good. 

Hi, Tim...
lunch time the day before.  So many happy mouths to feed!

One of the many fun features of this huge house was the well-stocked bar, including ingredients for lots of mocktails for the kids.  Reed loved the "Junior Bridesmaid" that was made with Club Soda and juice and slices of fruit, complete with umbrellas and fancy stirrers.  Skyler loved the "Marry-Me Mojito" that was made with crushed mint and ginger ale.  It was pretty funny to have Reed say to me:  Can you make me another drink at the bar?"

The day before, Ange and I helped prep some of the wedding feast, and then we all enjoyed the rehearsal dinner.  These families know how to celebrate:

Suz and Ange

the happy couple

another happy couple

The wedding was a total group effort.  Sandi's sister Kristy did the flowers:
Everyone helped make food.  These are only some of the many creations that Suzanne had planned and we helped to pull together. 

Caprese spears
apple, cheddar, beet tarts

And the cake!  Suzanne had baked (and froze) the three layers of the cake ahead of time and it was up to Ange and me to decorate it per her vision.  We had many jokes about how much wine Suzanne had to have before she could see the cake, but I have to say, it turned out okay!
triple batch of butter cream

Pretty soon, the cake was done, the food was ready, the hair was up, and it was time to get everyone dressed into our wedding outfits.  This was also a sort of trial run for Skyler and Reed to get them prepped for our wedding, which is next. 

They clean up pretty well, I do say.

Skyler with Sandi and Suzanne's daughters and niece

Below are excerpts from the piece I wrote for them and read in their perfect little ceremony.  

I think we would all acknowledge that by any definition of the word marriage, Sandi and Suzanne are already married, and today allows only the opportunity to perhaps formalize, and definitely celebrate the life and commitment they already share. If marriage is a promise, it is a promise they have already given each other in words and in actions. If marriage is a shared purpose, than their shared purpose has been defined and refined and lived out for many years. 

I know I speak for more than just myself when I say:  I am a better person and a better partner and a better mother and a better friend because of the light that has been shined upon me by the friendship of these two women, and by having them show us how to live and love deliberately. They are an example to all of us here, and to the world at large, about what love really does and should look like.  

Sandi and Suzanne, thank you for showing us that when you orient yourself toward a life of love, it surrounds you.  Today we bless you as you continue on down your path of commitment, that we can now call marriage, and as you navigate the many turns in the road ahead of you, know that we are right behind you.  

We are honored and blessed to have been there to witness this event, and to live in a world where love is love no matter who you are, and to be touched by the glow of these families, and to call Sandi and Suzanne family. 

not sure what is happening here...
Ange, on the right, has spent the last many months helping to plan and strategize both of our weddings.  That means Ange has had THREE BRIDES texting and calling her about invitations, flowers, and food.  What a good friend.

Not sure if you can tell, but this wedding really got us in the mood for another one.  Holy smokes, 2 weeks to go until our big day.  The three women above will be right by my side as we do this again.  SUMMER OF LOVE, yes indeed.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

summer of love.

Quick!  I found a little pocket of time to download 1000 + photos off of my phone and to sit down alone in an air conditioned cafe with an iced coffee.

I have a to-do list like nobody's business, but my lists have transformed over the past few weeks away from: finish grades, clean classroom, call parent, recycle old files, and toward lists like: get marriage license, make dance music playlists, find that great lipstick Suzanne uses, get the dress altered, and on and on.  I feel like if I don't sit down to write a little and organize some of these photos I'm going to find myself buried in all the good summertime stuff that has already occurred. 

Amidst all the planning and finalizing of our wedding (3 weeks!) it is also just plain old summer time, people, and that means squeezing every drop of time with the kids and the dog,  beach, sunscreen, and bug spray, working on the house and the gardens, eating the farm share.

We've had some great day trips so far, like this one to Bar Harbor with Lindsay and Leah.

We've had time at the pool, of course.

The kids have each attended some excellent camps already.  The summer is flying.

 Reed attended a basketball camp for a week, and because he was one of the youngest kids there, he spent time in the evenings working on his skills with his basketball-star-sister Hillary.
Skyler and I ran in the 4th of July road race from Brewer to Bangor, well ran/walked.

Nice form, honey.

But no matter what fun trips and activities I organize, the kids seem to be happiest just doing the regular stuff around the house.  Like cuddling with our Ryder-boy.
And dinners on the deck.

For Reed, nothing beats time to play football with Ellis, especially if he brings some friends.

Reed with 6 big boys: heaven.  Ellis has the nicest friends, and they can eat!

 Another highlight so far:  we joined forces with friends Craig and Matt and their kids for an island camping trip off the coast of Stonington. 

heading out

This was pretty much my view of the kids the whole time. They scrambled over rocks and found treasures and explored until we all collapsed into tents at dark.  It was the kind of experience you want to custom order for your kids.

Reed took great pride in being the first (and the youngest) to jump.

Matt took us on a side trip to that rock straight ahead where we got to see about 100 seals lounging in the sun, and much to the kids' delight, shimmying on their bellies into the water.  So funny!

Before we even left, the kids starting talking about next year and making this trip a tradition. 

When we got home, the kids unloaded pockets full of lobster claws and sea glass, put band-aids on all of the scrapes on their feet and legs from the rocks, and Ryder hardly moved for 3 days. 

- We are chipping away on our lists of projects while trying to keep things uncomplicated and un-stressful.

-Every other week I go 4 days without the kids.  The dull ache remains and doesn't subside during those days.

-Tim and Hillary and I just completed week 3 of marathon training:  so far I am so happy with how it has been feeling and even in the heat, the "long" runs (only up to 7 miles) have felt good. The plan starts getting harder in week 4.
This was after my 7 miler in POURING rain.  Felt amazing.
- The kids are very excited for our wedding and their growing family.  They already refer to Tim as their step-dad.  Hillary is their sister.  Ellis is their brother, except when Skyler is feeling sassy and  she calls Ellis her "otha brotha from a different motha."

 - Last week, we were blessed to attend (and be a part of) the wedding of our best friends Sandi and Suzanne.  I have a pile of pics and a separate post to write about it.  It was amazing.  Can't wait to tell you about it.

When I posted this picture on facebook, taken at Sandi and Suzanne's wedding, everyone got confused and congratulated US on getting married.  NOT YET, friends.  3 more weeks and it's our turn. 

And even if nothing else on our to-do lists gets done, I'm ready.  So ready.