reader, I married him

It’s still a little hard to believe, but I’m married. Sunday night, after the ceremony and reception, we stayed the night at the Claremont hotel in Berkeley, and then returned home bright and early on Monday morning to have a last breakfast with L’s family before most of them left town. And now we’re home again, and everything is different, but also the same.

On Facebook, I posted the following:

I washed the makeup off my face last night, took the pins out of my hair, and hung up my dress. There I was, the same Saskia, but also a little different. We’re back to normal now, the two of us. Except we carry the love of so many people with us going forward, and that makes all the difference.

Thank you to everyone who made our wedding day happen. Thank you to my family, and Loel’s family, who are now also mine. Thank you to our officiant, who helped us craft a ceremony that reflected who we are and what we value. Thank you to our friends and family who came, and those who loved us from afar. We are so blessed.

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I have a husband now. I am a wife. L. and I have been joking around all day, saying things like, “this is our first breakfast as married people!” “hey, look, this is our first time walking Josie as married people!” and calling each other husband and wife. Per Dutch tradition, I switched my rings from one hand to the other, and although it’s a little jarring to feel them on the other side, I think I’ll get used to that pretty soon. It might take me a little longer to get used to these new identities, though, and this new reality  in which I am mine, always mine, but now also his.

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We leave on our honeymoon tomorrow: the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and then a stop in Salt Lake City, both so we can go to all our old haunts, and because I have a paper to present at the annual Mormon History Association conference up at Snowbird. (What, you didn’t spend two days in a conference hotel with a bunch of nerds on your honeymoon, talking about Mormon history? just me? Oh.)

I have some posts planned about our ceremony, what we wore, how much I cried (so much!), and how happy I am (so happy!). But first, I have to go enjoy this feeling of being L’s wife.

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two years

Two years ago today, L. and I had our first date in Salt Lake City, Utah. Two years later, you can find us in Redwood City, slowly getting used to the non-winter winter (yay) and the terrible traffic (boo). Two years later,

  • Josie and Mara are still our favorites. Josie is supposed to sleep on her own bed, but more often than not, she nestles herself right in between us, and if she does it right and doesn’t move too much, we don’t kick her off. (The we in this scenario is all L., by the way. Josie doesn’t listen to me in the middle of the night.) Mara is an independent little cat, and likes to run around without supervision, in case you were wondering. She also likes to appropriate my carry on suitcase and use it as a bed, which I am less happy about.

Every day around 4PM, Josie migrates to the door and sleeps (mostly) patiently until L. comes home.

  • We have more stuffed animals than any two people should own. The newest additions to our stuffed family are two little pigs, called Bake and Grease. They go well with a larger pig, that Ikea might call Knorrig, but we call Porkupine.

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  • Breakfast is still our favorite meal, and we’ve been busy scoping out new breakfast places to replace our beloved Finn’s in Salt Lake.

At Finn’s, the day we left Utah.

  • We still like to read whenever we go out. At dinner the other night, an older couple came up to our table to comment on it, especially since L. was reading on his Kindle and I was reading an actual paper book. Was there any significance to that, they wondered? (The answer? No, not really. L. usually reads on his Kindle, and I go back and forth, depending on library availability.)
  • Since moving, people don’t laugh at the smart car any more. That is, as long as my wonderful new bike rack isn’t attached to it–then it’s fair game again.

  • We do day trips to Half Moon Bay now, instead of Cottonwood Canyon, and visit the San Mateo County Historical Museum instead of the Church History Museum, and the Cal Academy of Sciences instead of the Natural History Museum Utah, and Kepler’s Book Store instead of Sam Weller’s.


  

  • We still live less than a mile from a Mormon church, though. Some things never change.

one year later

This is the photo on my lock screen right on, and it makes me so incredibly happy to see L. smiling at me when I wake up in the morning.

This is the photo on my lock screen right on, and it makes me so incredibly happy to see L. smiling at me when I wake up in the morning.

One year ago today, L. and I went on our first date. I remember getting ready, wanting to wear my blue flats with my dress and tights instead of sensible boots, and regretting my choice within two minutes of leaving the house because it was so bitterly cold. I was running late, hurry-walking, and I remember turning the corner and seeing you standing there. You pretended you didn’t see me and turned the other way, and that made me smile because I do the exact same thing to avoid the awkwardness that is the last hundred yards. I shyly said hello, we walked in and were seated, and thank God there was the menu I could pretend to study for a minute so I could get over my nerves. I remember talking about Harry Potter at dinner (an expected topic of conversation since we were going to see the Utah symphony play the soundtrack after dinner), and laughing at the very bad puns Vlad the conductor made, and me suggesting we go have dessert at the Cheesecake Factory because I really, really didn’t want the date to end. I remember splitting a slice and talking until 11PM, ensconced in a booth and our own little world. Who knew two introverts could talk that much? I fell deeply, madly, head over heels in love and luckily you felt the same way.

And now it’s a year later, as unbelievable as that is. I’ve met your family, you’ve met mine, we went on trips together to Denver and Disneyland, and not to forget the epic LDS immersion tour (otherwise known as my research trip) this summer. We bought extra bookcases so I could fill the house with words, although it took you a while to realize just how many books I have and the prospect of them being shipped to Utah is slightly terrifying to you. I make you breakfast (but never oatmeal) and you make me grilled cheese and we both try to stop Mara the Cat from licking the plates. You listen to me talk about Mormonism and rant about patriarchy, spend nights at the library with me, and tell me of course I will find a job that makes me happy. You share your house with me, made me into a dog person, and let me drive your car even when that means you have to take the bus to work. I love the utter seriousness with which you and your friends play board games, and that you play Mario Kart with me any time I ask. I love how we watch Shield together, and Brooklyn 9-9, and Castle and Modern Family and Bones and a million other shows, and so many YouTube videos it’s hard to keep track. I love you, L., and the life we’ve built together, and how you make my life better, every single day. Eight more days until I fly home to Utah: I can’t wait.

Seriously, have I told you how much I love this dog?

Seriously, do you realize how much I love this dog?

#MayAlphaZoo

Last month, L. participated in an art challenge: draw 26 animals, one for every letter of the alphabet, in 31 days. This is the result. (Click on the images to enlarge them, or go here to see them separately. Also, you can  see him speed paint the animals here, if you’re interested.)

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On average, they took him two hours, but there were also illustrations that had him at his computer until late at night. So late, in fact, that I went to bed alone. Which isn’t actually all that bad, all things considered. So much room for me to spread out! That ‘sacrifice’ aside, it was actually really fun to see L. in artistic mode. (Well, except for the part where he would nod and respond to whatever I said to him, but then have no recollection of our conversation afterward. Took me a while to catch on to that and save my comments for more opportune moments.)

It’s hard to say which one is my favorite, but I am very partial to the bear, the octopus, and the chipmunk. (And definitely not the tarantula. Sorry, me and spiders don’t go well together.) But my favorite might be the highland cattle, with a ladybug perched on his nose. Apparently I’m a fan of goofy cows.

smart car in the city

So, L. has a smart car. Do you know what happens when you drive a smart car in Salt Lake City? You get looked at lot. Complete strangers will glance over, look away, glance again, then nudge their neighbor, laugh, and point. SUVs and trucks will not like it one bit when you pass them on the highway. At gas stations, people will constantly ask you how your mileage is, or start talking about electric cars, or just do the point and laugh thing again. We also hear a lot of clown car jokes.

And although I’m a pretty good driver, I’m also an insecure driver, and it took me forever to learn that people weren’t staring at me because I was committing some horrendous traffic violation or something. Now, I just politely smile back, and enjoy parking in tiny spaces, like this one.

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Which is an appropriate segue into a video L. showed me the other day. It perfectly highlights the awesome ridiculousness of the car–and why common sense should prevail and the car should stay in the city.