Linda on Sundry posted a New Year’s survey, and it seems like a good way to wrap up the year.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think my New Year’s resolution was to get published, so no. I did however finish my first novel, so I can’t be too disappointed. Next year… maybe.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Two of Matt’s groomsmen have new little girls, plus another baby girl from Matt’s cousin. My friend Adam had a son. Actually this was a year of many babies, but those were probably those closest to us.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My great uncle Jim died in June, a month and a half before I could make it out to Oregon to visit. My thesis adviser, teacher and friend Sheila Schwartz died of cancer in November, about a week after we got back from the honeymoon. Still processing.
5. What countries did you visit?
Just this one, but we got to see more of it than usual. For our honeymoon, we took the Empire Builder (train) to Seattle, where we stayed for 6 days, then the Coast Starlight down to San Fran (two days) then the California Zephyr back to Cleveland (well Chicago actually, but I don’t know the name of the train we took from Chicago to Cleveland). I’ll get around to blogging this at some point.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A publishing contract would be nice. Beyond that, there are little things I’d like, but I’m happy, so I won’t bother too much about them right now.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Redundant: October 18th, got married. October 6: finished my first draft.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm… general procrastination? Oh yeah, and thank you notes aren’t out yet.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Got food poisoning at least once, and a couple bad colds, but otherwise I can’t complain.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Maybe organizing supplies for my desk and studio. Though it’s still a mess so I can’t claim they’ve made a monumental impact.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Uhm, what? I dunno, friends? Family? It’s been a good year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
If I can’t say something nice, I’m definitely not going to type it on the internet.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Redundant: Wedding. Honeymoon. Visiting family.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Anything by the Mickeys.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing. I mean nothing as in, doing nothing.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With family on Matt’s side, watching the nieces open presents.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Every day. Ewww! That grosses even me out, I’m so sorry.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Firefly, I don’t care if it WAS canceled years ago.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Only when I’m driving.
24. What was the best book you read?
Lying by Lauren Slater.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
26. What did you want and get?
Matt. Time. Peace.
27. What did you want and not get?
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, went out for Hibachi with a bunch of my friends and maybe something after but I can’t remember..?
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can’t say because I think Dick Cheney would hunt me down and shoot me in the face.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Heeheehehe… what? I think I bought new jeans.
32. What kept you sane?
Matt. Friends. Sleep.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
President Elect About Freaking Time.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Is frustration a political issue?
35. Who did you miss?
Bernadette in Florida. Sheila.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Some awesome people on the train.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Break big things into little things and it’s easier to get them done. Obvious to everyone but me I guess.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Matt and I didn’t really know going into this what we wanted to do for the ceremony. We figured something simple, preferably without too much specific religious context as neither of us are Christian, and we take our words seriously enough to not want things we don’t believe as part of our wedding.
A friend introduced us to Lisa, a minister or priestess depending on her mood, who is also a henna artist. This worked out well since we wanted henna for the wedding (more on that part later). Many people who do a non-traditional type weddings think having their dad to give them away reinforces gender stereotypes, implies women are property, you know. I don’t disagree, but I wanted my dad to walk me down the isle.
The Ceremony was vaguely pagan: half earth religion half Buddhist, which worked out perfectly for us. Everyone in the bridal party carried something in. Jen got the chalice – for the goddess, Amy carried the red cord – for the union, Kim had bread to represent earth, and another Kim had sparkling grape juice, representing water.
Frances is carrying a glass full of feathers for air, Jack has a candle for fire, Brian the blade for the god and Greyson has a chime, to represent divinity and because it sounds pretty.
The zoo actually has a nice “stage” sort of area, which was the perfect place to stand and get married. Probably not what it’s built for.
All the people holding elements had a reading, which we forgot to tell them until the day before. Jack had a hard time not laughing, which I liked because I was also feeling pretty giggly.
Kim read water. That’s her container with the sparkling grape juice in it.
Greyson was ready to ring the chime, which he got to do every time Lisa (or anyone I suppose) said “So mote it be.”
He also led everyone there by hitting the chime at the end when we were officially married. As part of their wedding favor, everyone had little silver bells. The rest of the favor was a box of animal crackers, which seemed appropriate.
There was a lot of kissing, which was good. Overall, the ceremony was very casual and happy, which is exactly what we would have planned for if we’d had any idea how to do so. Fortunately Lisa’s a pro.
Since I told everyone ahead of time that the wedding was slightly pagan, I think some of our family were apprehensive about what they were in for, but it was an inclusive, non-threatening celebration. Nobody seemed worried by the end.
After the elemental readings, we joined hands in the infinity symbol (which my geeky side got a kick out of) and Lisa tied our hands with a red cord to symbolize blood (because it makes us family).
I’d never really thought of where the expression “tied the knot” came from, but I liked the symbolism of being bound together like that, so I’m glad we were able to include it in our wedding.
We wanted to keep our wedding simple, and I think this was, but instead of abandoning tradition entirely, we ended up including several traditions. I think it worked out much nicer this way. When we were floundering around trying to decide what to do, I was a little worried that it would end up being so casual it would feel like we weren’t taking it seriously. We were lucky to have someone to lend us better ideas.
After the red cord was nicely knotted, Lisa said we were married, MARRIED, but we still had a few more things to do as part of the ceremony.
Next came the vows and exchange of rings. Matt’s sister Jen carried his ring in, wearing it on her thumb I think, and my brother carried mine in on his pinky. That doesn’t have any particular significance, but I like it.
When I think of getting married, this is the part of the ceremony I’ve always linked to making it reality.
I guess it’s something to do with the physical symbol, something beyond words. Our wedding was that it was packed full of such tangible significance.
I’m laughing here because when it was my turn to ring Matt, he initially gave me his right hand, and it took us both a second to figure out what was wrong. Lisa actually designed the henna on my left hand to have a gap where the ring would go, but Matt’s hand didn’t have a cheat sheet.
After the rings, we took the chalice and the blade.
I guess this is called the Great Rite, another symbolic physical thing. The god is the blade. The goddess is the chalice. You figure it out.
After the Great Rite we had our symbolic “first meal” where we fed each other bread and wine, aka sparkling grape juice.
The grape juice by the way was for a few reasons. One, while they probably would have made an acception for the ceremony, the zoo has a policy about all alcohol being served by zoo staff. Two, I actually really dislike the taste of wine. Three, since we wanted this to be a kid friendly wedding, every table had some sparkling grape juice so the kids could join in on the toasts and general drinking festivities. This first drink was much trickier than we expected because Matt is literally more than a foot taller than I am. We got it figgured out eventually though, and then it was on to jumping the broom.
We landed on our feet.
After that, we were married, in every legal, actual, spiritual, whatever sense.
In fact that’s what I kept whispering to Matt all night: “We’re married!”
*Photos by Willow Rosen unless labled: Morgan, in which case they’re by Matt’s brother in law, Morgan.
Related: Wild Wedding – Part 1
We got married at the zoo in the Cat House. I had a blue dress, henna, and flowers made of metal.
Matt and I got married this October, but we only just got around to meeting up with the Photographer, Willow Rosen, (I’ll post a link to her site when I get it) last weekend. I’m not going to post all the photos here, just my favorites, and I’m going to post them a bit at a time so my post doesn’t end up taking a cyber mile.
These are the formal, posed photos. Groom-al party left to right: Greyson (best man), Matt, Francis, Jack, and Brian (my brother).
We got married October 18th, which happened to also be one of the weekends of BOO at the zoo. Traffic was kind of a nightmare. The guys all managed to get there with plenty of time to spare, but we girls cut it a little closer. Because of this, the guys had a bit more time to have fun with photos.
Obviously. We did all the “official” photos BEFORE the ceremony, with the delusional idea that we wouldn’t keep our guests waiting that way. I think we meant to take a few more shots with just the girls, but then we forgot and decided to just get married already. Fortunately these turned out really nice.
Bridal party left to right: Kim, another Kim, Jen (Matt’s sister) and Amy (best woman… or something like that). Oh yeah, and me. Then below, Matt looking dapper, and wondering where the heck the girls are:
Then on to the group shots. We started outside and Willow caught us laughing at something. We were trying to get a photo that had the snow leopard in the background, but it moved too quickly, and by the time we arranged ourselves it was gone.
On the 3 full group shots, you can click for a larger image. I only included this photo because I think it makes us all look like actors on some new TV show (it’s the dramatic brick wall). My brother said I could only use his image if I paid him for it, so I altered it by 3% as per trademark law, so I wouldn’t have to.
Then there’s this one, a really cool photo of the inside of the zoo, I think that’s the Gorilla area behind us.
And finally my favorite posed photo of just Matt and I.
A lot of the candid shots turned out better than the posed ones, but I’m glad I have these, as formal photos go I think they’re very nice. Some of these will definitely be going in frames. Tomorrow I’m hoping to continue with some of the photos of pre-wedding preparation, including that application of the henna, but that depends on whether I can get the photos in time!
Related: Wild Wedding – The Ceremony