Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're back

Just in case you were worried and haven't talked to us yet, we arrived back safely into SF last week.  We miss Hawaii terribly, but I'm glad to be home.  So far the best thing about being married is that I'm no longer planning a wedding and can devote time to other, more exciting ventures.

More update later.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

After days of lying on the beach and reading, Kate and I emerged from our water-front house and ventured out.  Yesterday, we drove north in search of good food and adventure, which we met at Postcards CafĂ© and the wet and dry caves!  As our red convertible was slowly winding the slim roads of the rain forest mountains of Hawaii, Kate and I couldn’t help but stop every half mile to take photos of this cliff, that beach, or the dozens of baby chicks that were following mama hen on the waterfront.  The cliffs were overrun with greens, purples, reds, and yellows, creating an over-run collage of intermixing colors and plants. 

Today our adventures led us kayaking down the river and hiking to a waterfall once used by Hawaiian royalty.  After our kayak downstream – which I’m sure looked peaceful, but left us drained physically and mentally – we hiked to the waterfall.  They told us to prepare for mud, but I didn’t expect to be calf-deep in it.  But after walking hip-deep in a raging river, I was ready for all that Mother Nature wanted to throw at me.  I have to admit, I really enjoyed slipping and sliding with mud between my toes.

As for tomorrow – ziplining!  Then we’ll be off to The Big Island, where we’ll get to see a real live volcano!  We’re having a blast…

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Since arriving in Hawaii I have lost all sense of time.  My daily rhythm is based on when the rooster crows in the morning, the tide comes in during the day, and the sun sets at night.  Everywhere I go I can hear the powerful and calming ocean breathe in, breathe out as the waves gift the beaches with coral from the reefs that peek out from the water.  Our house is right on the water, with a view of an expansive ocean that is only broken up by black lava on the beach and the bountiful green of the flowering plants.  There are mango and pineapple trees everywhere, just like the coral and shells that are prolific along the beach.  Everything is lush and colorful here.  The reds, greens, yellows, and blues all are vibrant against the lush mountain ranges that you can see from wherever you are.

When we arrived in Kauai, we were struck with the abundant beauty of this place.  And then I was immediately struck by the chickens.  They’re everywhere.  We’ve seen hundreds of roosters, chickens and baby chicks hanging out on the side of the road, on the beach, in our front yard.  I find them hilarious and fun, and have become an obsessive rooster watcher since our arrival.

Our house’s beach is fairly secluded, and it feels private at times.  There are about a dozen other houses that share the beach, but we have rarely come upon others enjoying the water.  Well, we’ve rarely come upon people.  Little sand crabs are abundant here, burrowing into the sand at night and digging themselves out during the day.  Little sand piles can be found throughout the beach, from where the crabs finally reached the surface again to eat little things they find on the beach. 

Just a short walk away from our house, a river meets the ocean.  It’s surreal how beautiful it is.  It reminds us of Disneyland, how over-the-top gorgeous the water and trees are.  The riverside is lined with banana, mango, and coconut trees, along with outrageously beautiful flowers that seem unreal in their exquisite beauty.  The water is brimming with fish and other almost transparent animals –almost all the animals here are invisible.  The crabs are the color of sand, the fish the color of fallen palm trees, the birds the color of mangos.  There are also hundreds of tadpoles swimming at the river’s edge, and I keep wondering where mama frog is – I haven’t heard any croaking, just the diverse trills and cock-a-doodle-dos of the birds. 

We’ve spent our time exploring the Eastern side of Kuauii.  The farmers’ market had all sorts of fruits I had never heard of before.   The banana options alone are overwhelming.  We bought some of the fruits and enjoyed a cold coconut.  After drinking the delicious coconut water, we returned to the stall to have the seller take a machete and chop the coconut in half.  We took the wet, silky insides and ate them.   It was delicious and nothing like what I have been led to believe coconut tasked like.  It’s like tomatoes – the fresh fruit has almost nothing in common with what is sold in the stores. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

A very short meditation on Day 1 of married life

Today we opened some of the cards and gifts that people have given us, and I felt so, so loved.  Yesterday, I felt so overwhelmed with love and opening those cards immediately brought those feelings back to me.  Kate and I are so lucky to have found one another and to have an outstanding community of friends and family who care for us.

The wedding was magical.  The reception too.  Our rabbi invoked the moment, and I was so glad to just stand under the chuppah with my love.  I cried as our rabbi and then parents blessed us, and as I saw the beautiful woman who is now my wife.  Later, at the reception, I was just surrounded by love and kind words.  It felt like it was over in a flash, and I didn't nearly get to say hello to everyone I wanted.  With a few very minor exceptions, the day was perfect.  We had a few great secrets up our sleeves for the day, including the rabbi's processional and our recessional, and it was fun to create a meaningful and fun space for everyone to (hopefully) enjoy.

More probably later.  In the meantime, I'm going to do laundry for the honeymoon, and I was wondering if you would like any of our leftover bubbles, baskets, aisle runners, table numbers, or anything else we come across as we unpack all the stuff from the wedding.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Calling in sick

Before this week, Kate and I have never been sick at the same time.  We've passed around the same sickness more than once, but always manage to get it at different times.  Unfortunately this week we've learned that when we're both sick at the same time we sound a lot like whining two years old.

Kate's sick with a stomach bug and my cold has come back with revenge in mind.  At last weekend's retreat, many folks came down with the stomach bug.  Kate's theory for my illness is that my immune system, fighting hard to keep puking at bay, has forgotten to fight off my cold as well.  It has become worse than it was last week, which is especially frustrating because I was finally considered myself "almost recovered" as of Sunday.

With the wedding just a few days away, I'm thankful that Kate and I have spent the last few weeks in a mad rush to the finish.  Since we returned home on Sunday, we've barely had enough energy to feed the cats, much less do almost anything wedding related.  There are still the programs to finish and the table numbers to glue, but we thankfully have nothing too time consuming to do before the wedding.  In the meantime, we've been sleeping in excess and I have been feeling guilty about - once again - calling in sick.  Ultimately, though, I feel resting now is the right thing to do.  I'm certain Kate will feel better before the wedding, but with this persistent two week cold I'm afraid that I'll be sneezing as I say "I do" and napping during our dance party.  So I'm calling in sick - again - and trying to get my head on straight enough to make sure all the vendors are paid, all the instructions are clear, and trying not to mind my 5 hour naps in the middle of the day.

But I seriously can't believe that Kate and I are BOTH SICK just 4 days before the wedding.  This is almost the worst.  (The worst would be actually being sick at the wedding.  Fingers crossed for health.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A week and a half before the wedding

A few weeks ago, Kate and I went to a friend’s wedding.  The entire (lovely) weekend, Kate was a walking to do list while I was confident everything would come together for our own Big Day.  A few days later, I joined Kate in the stress.  There are so many small details that need to be taken care of, and so little time!

Since then, we’ve created and updated over a dozen Google Documents, including:  Wedding budget, Wedding program, Wedding to do list, Wedding to do list for all, Music, Photo list, Wedding guest list, Very important wedding information, Wedding day schedule, Make up, and Aufruf Honors.  And that’s just the online documents.  We’ve also (almost) finished our centerpieces, aisle runners, and room set up; determined our wedding hair; bought me a new wedding nose ring; picked up our ketuba; finalized seating arrangements – for the ceremony and reception; confirmed with all of our vendors; ordered wedding cake; hired servers; planned meals for Friday and Saturday; and talked lovingly with our parents, who are planning other exciting activities for us that weekend. 

What a difference three weeks makes.  Just as our newly married friends (whose anniversary is next Monday!!!) said, a month before the wedding is all stress, but as it comes closer, you can relax more.  They were so right.  There’s still a lot to do, but all of the major things are taken care of. 

I’m still in wonder of people who planned weddings before the age of the internet.  Google documents, email, and this blog has allowed us to share our wedding decisions with others, many of whom have outstanding suggestions and solutions.  People are eager to help in a way that’s extremely humbling.  I’m so grateful for everyone who has been a cheerleader for this wedding and for our relationship.  Thanks to you, our stress is slowly easing into excitement, and I just can’t wait for the next 10 days to pass!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why I chose to be fat for my wedding

I love a meal overflowing with texture and taste - both are extremely important in a euphoric dinner.  I enjoy quality taste and an absurd quantity of texture.  I love how noodles and breads feel in my mouth, and I simply never want to put their tastes away.  Eating is genetic in my family; my mothers live to dine well and enjoy food to the point where they know many local chefs by their first name.  Why should I betray a family tradition when I'm planning a wedding that brings families together?

Eating simply makes me happy.  I love flavors rolling across my tongue, how Brie and crackers makes a delicious afternoon snack.  Planning a wedding is stressful, and I want all of my vices available to me, especially the delicious ones.

Not to mention, my dress is a little too big, and it would better if I gained 5 pounds - or 20.  It's freeing to know with 12 days before my wedding, my seamstress would prefer if I ate too much than not enough.  I don't think that happens enough with brides-to-be.

Most importantly, Kate will think I'm beautiful no matter how thin or fat I am.  Brides are always beautiful, anyway.

So last night I decided to enjoy my fat bride-dom and relish all the Brie, ice cream, and In-N-Out my body can handle.  I'll return to my Healthy Body Routine after the wedding and honeymoon.  That too makes me happy, but doesn't relieve stress in my current time-crunched life.  In the meantime, bring on the lemon cheese pasta and make my mouth water!

For those who are inclined to disagree, I say: Yes, I am fat.  I am technically obese and happy to have curves.  I intend to lose weight in my future, but in large part because I like how my body feels when I'm active and eat well.  I like how my mind feels when I'm inactive and eat poorly.  I often struggle between fat positive and healthy living, though one doesn't necessarily have to preclude the other.  It just always has for me.