The Shortest Vacation (in Photographs) & Buckets of Bliss (Of the Wedding and Spring Flower Variety)

And so we have returned to our tiny, humble abode, after a fleeting yet immensely-packed weekend of driving to-and-fro Sacramento and San Francisco.

An important thing to do upon returning home: Walk by the flower shop and find two of my favorite things! Anemones and mini gerber daisies to brighten our neglected apartment.

flowers2

And they smell as lovely as they look!

Floral diversion complete. Resuming the news from this weekend.

WOW. What a weekend it was! My beyond beauteous friend, Clare, married her best friend, Michael at the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral (the old one) in San Francisco. I was honored to be a bridesmaid and had the absolute best time being there in support of her. It was, of course, quite a struggle physically, and I unfortunately could not participate in every single event. Such is life when your Crohn’s Disease is out of control and unmanageable. (Let’s not forget, however, that my first Remicade infusion is on Friday).

It is positively official that I could not be more elated for Clare and Michael. There are couples out there that just give you a certain feeling. That feeling of: God, you’ve proven yet again that You know what You’re doing. This couple is meant to be. And it’s awesome.

The wedding was breath-taking, and I had such fun being with the other bridesmaids and Clare’s family. And Adam did too! He hung with the girls all weekend and served as our bag-carrier, valet, and concierge. (You had to be there). And he was always good for a laugh. What an angel that man is.

As much as I am dying to share photos of the wedding, I think I will wait for the professionals. (Fun fact, the photographer was the same one who shot Adam’s and my wedding. He and his wife are just the dearest people and we had a blast seeing them again. Anyone need a fantastic Orthodox wedding photographer? I’ve got a referral for you.)

It was also an especially enchanting trip because it was Adam’s first to San Francisco! (Which just so happens to be basically my favorite city.) He was blown away by both cathedrals (particularly the new one, of course, with Saint John the Wonderworker’s relics). But that part was a given! We knew he’d love all the Orthodox activities. But you know what else? He dug the city. He really did. In his words: “I have to admit, San Francisco is a pretty cool place.” Says the Montana country boy! Love love love it.

Saturday night, before the wedding, we stayed at The Chateau Tivoli Bed & Breakfast, which is an absolutely stunning (albeit, somewhat creepy) old Victorian mansion in the heart of San Francisco, just a couple blocks from the Old Cathedral. Gee whiz, this place was nifty. Adam and I stayed in the Isadora Duncan room. We were on top of the world with excitement. It was our first stay in an exciting new place since our honeymoon! We took some Clue-esque photographs and laughed an awful lot. (Being married is so much fun.)

chateau0002

It was hard to see an end to the wedding festivities. It meant leaving San Francisco, saying goodbye to new friends, and saying goodbye to my dearest Clare. But alas, the reception was over and it was time to go….
….to my parent’s house outside of Sacramento!

It was such a quick “hi and goodbye” kind of a visit, but even that is better than nothing. We just barely got to spend time with my little sister, Teresa, and my dad. And we spent only slightly more time than that with my mom. But it was a merry and welcomed visit, nonetheless.

Here is a short summary of our visit, in photos.

\

farm3

My mom is growing some stunning roses.

And it was so good to be back with Teresa’s charming and hilarious goats.

farm5

farm6

farm7

And the cats.

farm8

And especially my mom.

farm9

And I gotta say, there’s still something so magical and surreal about having Adam in California.

And last but not least, let’s not ignore my dad’s shenanigans and his rebellious (and conscious) choice to proudly hang the California Republic flag, without an American flag.

I will never stop appreciating my family’s eccentricity.

Adam and I are now back in Washington with our beloved kitty who seems to truly be as overjoyed to see us as we are to see him.

No matter how short and how enchanting a trip is, it always always always feels good to come home.

Advertisements

Imaginary Authors, Indefinable Characteristics, Spring, the Female Protagonist, & Wedding Bliss.

Spring has sprung and the inspiration and drive to be inspired have leapt out of the sprung spring just as Jack leapt out of his box.

Too much?

But really. There’s something about the changing of seasons (whatever season it may be) that just demands attention. It calls out to any creative juice that flows through your blood stream and says “HEY, it’s time to get rolling!” Weather is incredible that way. I’ve always been of the opinion that weather is the ultimate dictator of senses, moods, emotions, atmosphere, perspective, thought-process. You name it. Weather affects. And it affects me greatly.

walk2

That being said, the wonderful world of Bellingham has been hypnotized by the spring fairy. The weather is warming up, the sun is almost always out, the tulips are a’bloomin, and it truly seems that there is a constant sparkle of pink flowers floating in and out like a breath with every breeze.

For Pete’s sake, I can’t tell you how liberating it feels just to walk outside in a pair of jeans and a plain white tee-shirt. Or dare I say, even a dress. Without the tights underneath. Sixty-four degrees and sunny, I think I love you.

I wish I could say that I’ve been madly taking advantage of this desire to be inspired by actually creating things (crazy notion?). But sadly, I can’t claim much of anything.

What I have actually been doing is simply quite a lot of thinking. The Plight of the Thinker. That’s what I call it. Does it resonate with you? I guess the definition would be this:
The faultiness of being simply a thinker is that thoughts get in the way of actions. Thinkers are driven wild by the idea of things. The idea of being inspired, the idea of inspiration, the idea of doing things, the idea of thinking things, etc. And so, driven to madness by these inspiring thoughts, the thinker does nothing at all. Only thinks.

I suffer from the plight.

The thought that I’ve been spellbound by as of late is that of the female protagonist. Or any protagonist really, but for me, the female. The idea of character. True character. And that every person is their own character. Not has character, but is a character. And there’s such a level of choice in the matter, too. Making a conscious decision to embrace your character is pretty exciting. When do you hear the word “character” most often? Well, when it’s in reference to a book, a movie, a made-up tale. If you were a character in a book, how would you be described? What kind of indefinable qualities do you have, that are just dying to try to be defined?

I guess you could just say that I’ve been thinking a lot about character development. But in real people. Developing your own character as if you were developing a character in a story. It just leads to some interesting thoughts. (There I go with “thoughts” again.) Qualities of an individual are just so enticing. From small, superficial details (she had short, dark hair that curled at the ends and she always had on a smearing of red lipstick), to the more complex details (she suffered from The Plight of the Thinker).

Anyway, I don’t know if any of that made any sense at all. But it’s what the inside of my brain has been looking like lately. (When it’s not bowled over by a migraine.)

I have due credit to pay for some of these thoughts. My discovery of a little something called “Imaginary Authors” triggered many of these musings.

They make perfume. Seriously. I’m not a perfume-person, but since I discovered Imaginary Authors, I find myself pining for some perfume.

They make perfumes (quite interesting scents, actually) based off of made-up authors and their made-up books. I kid you not. I find the whole thing wildly intriguing and mesmerizing and exciting. Their website doesn’t actually contain too many words, but this tidbit from it says an awful lot: “Like a good book, these scents are meant to inspire you. In these bottles are layered narratives that are sure to generate stirring conversation, fragrances that might be capable of changing the course of your own personal story. The hope is that they not only invigorate and intoxicate, but also take you to new places.”

I love it. Darnit, I just think it’s the niftiest thing. Now, being “not a perfume-person” like myself, I can’t ever imagine spending $85 on a bottle of perfume. Even for something this cool. But they do have sample vials for only $6. Now that is maybe something I would do. Just to add a little spice to my character.

My body is not feeling terribly well right now so I’m going to wrap things up. Let’s step back into the real world for a moment.

On Thursday, Adam and I leave Juvenaly behind (thank God for good church friends/cat lovers/cat babysitters) and board a plane to Sacramento. We’ll be spending a long weekend driving back and forth and back and forth from Sacramento to San Francisco. Why, you ask? Well because one of the most beautiful girls in the whole world (and one of my dearest dearest friends) is getting married to her partner-in-crime!! AND I get to be a bridesmaid! (Brides-matron?) I could not be more thrilled for the sweetest of sweets, Clare and Michael. We’ll be celebrating the wedding in the unbelievably beautiful Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral in wonderful San Francisco. This cathedral just happens to be where the blessed and beloved Saint John Maximovitch (the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco) served. And we’ll also be spending time at the newer cathedral that he helped build AND where his holy relics reside. Glory to God for all things!!

(And a sidenote, the wedding day, April 26th, happens to be Adam’s and my 6-month-iversary!)

SO this weekend we get to spend a bit of time with my parents and sister in Sacramento, we get to be near Saint John, we get to celebrate our 6 months of marriage in my favorite city, and most importantly and excitedly we get to be there to see and support Clare and Michael being united eternally to one another in the Church!

Life is good, and I am happy to be alive.

photo (22)

Sorry Juvenaly. You can’t come to San Francisco.