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14 April 2007

a woman in white, I shall be

tuna bowl

I found my wedding dress.

Slowly, a niggling worry was creeping in. After all, it is almost three months until we are married. (And every time one of us says that out loud, we giggle, like little kids delighted by the toy dangling above us.) The wedding planning goes as easily as breathing. The rings arrived in our life. We figured out where to have the ceremony — unexpectedly, on the beach, instead of in a vast green field. People are planning to fly in from all across the country, bearing dishes of gluten-free food and good wishes. And we have figured out some absurd touches that will make this a day that is entirely our own. Relaxed and laughing — that’s how we want to be.

It amazes me how many people say to us, “Oh, if you can survive the wedding planning, you can survive anything!” What? We haven’t disagreed once or encountered even a little tug of tension. We talk. Then again, we both know that, just as it is with cooking food, whatever mood you have when you are creating, that mood will tinge itself into the final creation. We want it all to be joyful, and spontaneous.

And for godssakes, we’re having paper plates and beach volleyball at our wedding. There will be no personalized wedding favors or matching bridesmaid dresses here.

Still, this is more than just a potluck at our house on a Sunday afternoon. We both believe in the beauty of ritual. After all, every day, the Chef chops onions in the same way, beginning with a ritual of the fingers. And every day, I sit down at this computer, and begin to flex my fingers on the keyboard, diving back into the words. There’s a joy to joining the procession and repetition of form that is inherent in all weddings.

“Will you marry me?” he asks me, nearly every day.
“Yes, I will,” I answer, my smile still enormous.

Saying it to each other that day will be an extension of our everyday lives. At the same time, we will be echoing the millions of people before us who have promised to choose love. We want to do the same.

To that end, I will be wearing white at our wedding. Oh sure, it’s an outdated custom, and the time-sworn symbolism of it won’t be true. But, there’s still something breathtaking about a woman in a white dress, in the middle of summer. It’s a visual archetype, now.

Besides, the Chef requested it. As he keeps saying, “No matter what you wear, you will be the most beautiful woman in the world.” Ay god, this man. But specifically, he wants me to wear white because of a line in this song. Even though I always imagined that I’d wear red at my wedding, when he asked, I said yes.

And so, the search for the dress.

I may have adopted the idea of the white dress, but I quickly came to realize that I couldn’t wear a traditional dress. I just don’t want to look like the pouf ball at the top of a dandelion. I want to look like myself at our wedding.

Besides, have you seen the prices of these dresses? Ghastly.

There are several wedding boutiques here in Seattle. Back in October, I visited one with my dear friend Cindy, who was in town for a conference. Since she’s one of my bridesmaids, I thought, “Okay, I should do some of this wedding stuff.” We entered the sanctum of two shops (that’s how they make you feel, as though you should speak in hushed tones all the time) and entered my idea of hell.

In one store, they made me put on a hairnet and wear white gloves before I could try on a dress. That way, I wouldn’t actually taint the silk and satin with my skin. Sure, I’ll admit it: seeing myself in a floor-length white gown brought tears to my eyes. I’m really getting married, that dress said to me.

But it bunched in the wrong places, and it felt like a costume instead of my dress. The women started talking about the girdles I would need, and the tiny strappy shoes and the frilly underthings and the $200 veil. I started to feel sick.

And when they showed me the pricetag of the dress — over $2000 — my nausea turned to laughter. Are you kidding me?

Cindy and I left, quickly.

Looking at wedding dresses online only increased my ire. And my dismay. Why would I want to look forlorn because I have to drag forty pounds of silk behind me? Or pouty, shoulders forward, with swirls of satin thumbtacked to my hips? Or pretending to be a flamenco dancer?

Oh, I was ready to wear a sundress, or a big skirt and a tank top. Forget it.

But still, I'm a woman. Of course I want to feel beautiful on my wedding day. And the parts of me both tugged. I want it to be simple, inexpensive, and me, one part shouted. The other kept saying, Yes, but you're only going to be married once. You need more than a dress from Target. It didn't help that many of my older women friends, people whom I trust for their candor and quirkiness, kept saying, "Shauna, you want a dress that you'll hang in the closet and never wear again."

Couldn't we just elope?

Luckily, I was saved by the unexpected, once again.

I had been looking in thrift stores. I had been asking around for seamstresses. I had played with the idea of buying an inexpensive dress online. But none of it felt right.

In all my searching, one name kept emerging: Champagne Taste, in Kirkland. First of all, Kirkland is "on the east side," a territory I never venture into, if I can help it. (This is, of course, an artificial divide. East of Lake Washington means more suburbs, Microsoft, big cars, and a place nothing like my taste. And a store called Champagne Taste? There is absolutely no way I could ever find my wedding dress in a placed called Champagne Taste, I kept saying.

Then again, a little thought niggled in my head, you never thought you would meet the love of your life online, either.

A day of teaching writing to sixth-graders drew me over past the Lake. What the hell, I thought. I'm going over there anyway. I'll just stop into Champagne Taste so I can cross it off the list of places I have to look.

Come to think of it, that's exactly the same mindset I had when I met the Chef.

When I walked into Champagne Taste, I almost started laughing. Rather than the shi-shi place of faux refinement I had feared, I found a store cluttered with clothing in all the corners. Purses were piled on the floor. Shoes were askew at the feet of different dresses. There was a winsome chaos to the place, something slightly shabby and human. So much for expectations.

As I walked to the wall of wedding dresses in protective plastic, I listened to the two women customers circling the store. “Oh my god, we’re free!” They told the two women running the store — both of them quite a bit older than I had expected, with frosted hair — that they were having a “sister day.” These two sisters had ditched their husbands, leaving only notes about leftovers in the freezer, and hightailed it for a day of inexpensive manicures, shopping, and dinner out. They were perhaps the jolliest people I had met in a long time. (And the loudest.)

The wedding dresses I saw were beautiful, but still far too costly. If I had been searching for one of those grandeloquent dresses featured in wedding magazines, but at half the price, this would have been the place. But I was not. I saw a plastic shelving unit stuffed with inexpensive veils, so I turned my attention to them instead.

One of the happy sisters turned the corner and walked into my nook. I saw, for the first time, that she was wearing a terribly fake gold piece on her forehead, a loud imitation of what Indian women wear. “Do you know what this is?” she asked me, suddenly.

Startled, I answered. I told her about bindis and their significance.

“Hey!” she shouted from across the store. “We found the right person1”
When she turned back to me, she saw me fingering a veil (I was still puzzled as to how to wear one). “Wait a minute!” she shouted again. “Are you getting married?”
When I mumbled that I am, in July, she actually grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me to the front of the store. “She’s getting married!” The three other women in the store — all of whom were in their early sixties — perked up and moved into action.
“What do you want?” one of the owners asked me. “What kind of dress are you picturing?”

I spluttered, not prepared for all this attention. “Well, simple. Simple, simple. No gee-gaw, no frou-frou. Something elegant, but really just a beautiful white dress.”
The owner seemed to jump a foot, so eager to grab a dress from the back that she nearly tripped. She came out, within a minute, holding three dresses in my size.
The first one was good. Actually, better than anything I had seen so far. I was just about to reach out for it, so eager to be done that I would have taken good enough. But then she unveiled the second dress.

It turns out that your wedding dress — just like your love — is easy to spot. You just have to sift through a lot of them before you can see it clearly.

The women all insisted that I try it on. “We want to see what you will look like on your wedding day!” So I slipped it over my head, and it slid right on. When I emerged from the dressing room (just a cubicle with a tattered curtain), for the first time in my life, I felt like Cinderella at the ball. They all oohed and aahed, and I couldn’t help but blush.

There I was, wearing the dress in which I will marry the Chef.

And can I be gauche and talk about money? It cost me less than $150.

The sisters left, waving behind them and singing out loud. The owners helped me find a veil, in under three minutes. I paid them, grinning all the while and talking a mile a minute about all the stories of us and the kind of wedding we are having. They smiled. They must see this all the time.

And then one of them asked me what I wrote. I told her about this site. She jumped again. Her daughter is getting married soon, and her new mother-in-law has celiac. They have no idea what to feed her. Perpetually, this is a small world.

Before I drove away from the store, I called the Chef, and told him, “I just bought my wedding dress.” It was silent on his end. For a moment, I thought we had lost our cell phone connection. And then I heard him sniff. I had made him cry, and he couldn’t talk.

I didn’t describe the dress to him. I can’t describe it to you. He reads this site every night, after all. And he has asked, sweetly, that he not see the dress, or me in it, until the moment I walk down the aisle.

Of course, my love. Of course.

One thing is for certain about this: I know him. And so I can say, without a doubt, that when the Chef sees me walking toward him, in that dress, he is going to be crying happy tears.

Oh hell, we all know that I will be too.

Tuna Bowl, inspired by The Herbal Kitchen by Jerry Traunfeld

The day I came home from buying the wedding dress, I ate this dish for an early dinner. We had seared some ahi tuna the night before, and I decided to try this. Jerry Traunfeld, who runs the Herbfarm, is a genius at light dishes that taste full and decadent. He described his version as sushi without the packaging. I had been meaning to try this for days, and that day seemed like the time.

Let me make this clear — I did not eat this bowl of rice and veggies because it had as few calories as possible. I am not panicking because I need to fit into my wedding dress. Sure, for the first six months we loved each other, the Chef brought home food from the restaurant every night, and cooked for us. We seemed to be on the all-cream and butter diet. However, life evens out. We’re eating lighter now, especially because it’s spring. We both insist — we follow the food that the earth offers in the moment.

Along with ghastly expensive dresses, what I saw repeatedly in bridal magazines and related horrifinalia, was the following: Bridal Boot Camp! What Not to Eat Before Your Wedding! How to Lose Twelve Pounds in Ten Days! Be the Smallest Size You Can For Your Wedding Day!

Poppycock. I’m clearly voluptuous, with curves and flesh. The Chef loves me that way. I do too. I walk. I do yoga. I eat well. I’m fit. But more than that, since my car accident, and the celiac diagnosis, I am grateful to have this body. I’m alive.

And so, there will be no glycolic peels or frantic running routines or a joining of the gym. Instead, there will be love and laughter and conscious food choices. There will be tuna bowls, with all the bounties that spring has to offer.

Aromatic jasmine rice

1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups water
2 glugs rice wine vinegar
½ stalk lemongrass
1 chunk fresh ginger
1 pat butter
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in your rice cooker. (If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can do this in a pot, but watch it instead.) Set it on cook and wait for it to be done.

Fish out the ginger and lemongrass and fluff up the rice.

Sesame dressing

½ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespon wheat-free tamari
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

Put the ginger, rice wine vinegar, wheat-free tamari, and garlic in a blender. Turn on the blender and start to pulverize the ingredients. As it is processing, slowly add the sesame oil and canola oil to the blender. When the entire concoction has blended together well (which is called emulsifying), turn off the blender. This will give you plenty of dressing, which will store in the refrigerator for weeks.

Seared tuna

Find the best piece of ahi tuna that you can find. Ask your seafood person to cut into one-inch thick pieces.

Heat a pan to the highest heat imaginable. Put a tablespoon of canola oil into the pan and let it come to heat.

Place the tuna steaks into the pan. Cook for one minute on the first side. Flip the tuna steaks over and cook for one minute off. Immediately, take the tuna out of the pan and onto a plate. The outside should be seared and warm, and the inside cool.

The final tuna bowl

Take a scoop of rice. Place a few slices of the seared tuna on top. Add some of your favorite vegetables and herbs.


Grilled radicchio
Fresh chives
Sautéed red pepper
Sautéed mushrooms
Sliced fennel

Or anything else you like.

After you have arranged the plate in a way you love, toss a small amount of the dressing on top, and toss.

Eat. You will be amazed at how filled you will feel with something this healthy.


At 2:38 AM, Blogger I Am Gluten Free said...

Shauna, your dress sounds perfect and beautiful. How fortuitous that you had the teaching job, just so that you could go into that shop and find it! I love the planning, the thoughtfulness, the way you are weaving a wedding that truly reflects you and the Chef. My husband and I got married in a field that belongs to a local abbey. Afterwards, we had a Mediterraean picnic with food from a fabulous local Greek restaurant, and then we all few kites. A perfect way to get hitched, in my book! Mazel tov to both of you:).

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Mia said...

Hooray for finding your dress so quickly! Mine was the first one I tried on, and the only one, out of about 6 that made my mom get teary eyed each time I re-tried it on. It was a little more pricey than yours, but then my wedding is a little more formal-ish than you guys', so I didn't feel too bad. Still, it was the cheapest of the ones we tried on, and so simple and elegant! Anyway, sounds like all is moving so smoothly for your wedding, I hope it keeps being a wonderful, fun experience!

At 5:57 AM, Blogger mrs.naramor said...

I still remember the moment I found my wedding dress! A simple white one with an empire waist and a subtle long blush sash...I had to have the pink in there somewhere. It was very special to my husband that it be a surprise too! I am so glad you are making it a surprise!

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Market at the Square said...

Yay for finding The Dress!! I found mine at a bridal shop (after weeks of putting off shopping), but I headed straight for the bridesmaid's dresses and found something lovely for $112. I still look at the photos and think, AW! That dress!

I can't wait for your cookbook to come out. Seriously. It's going to be a revelation for so many people.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I'm so happy that you found your perfect dress! I'm sure you'll look gorgeous (not from the dress though, from the beaming smile that will be covering your face). I'm glad your plans are coming to together and that you both are having fun with it. My hubby and I had the best time planning our wedding. I enjoyed every minute of it and it sounds like you are too.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Techchix said...

Shauna, you are - without a doubt - one of my very favorites bloggers. The words your paint make so bright a picture I am frequently moved to tears, to laugh, and to reminisce about the grand love story that brought my husband and I together not so very long ago. Life is so short that these wonderful stories of living and learning and loving without care should be shared with all. I started reading your site for recipes, but I stay to see where your heart will take me next. Do you know what my husband and I had engraved inside our wedding rings? CARPE DIEM... God Bless you both on your wedding day, and I look forward to pictures of you in that terrific dress.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Mrs. G.F. said...

I have to try this looks so good. I think I may make this weekend...for my in-laws and husband..we are going to South Carolina..a dish like this will feel right to eat. I am in the Northeast and still buried under snow, so we are still eating winter food.

I can't wait for spring.

As for the dress, it is true, you know your dress when you see it. It sounds crazy but still true. I still love my dress, it hangs in my closet and when I see it I smile. I know I should pack it away and preserve it, but I do love seeing it...

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I, too, am getting married in a little over 3 months (ack!). With every day that passes my excitement grows. I often picture myself walking down the aisle--I was also lucky enough to find "the dress" and "the one"--and imagining what my fiance's expression will be. The other day I asked him if he thinks he will cry (he is a sap), and he replied, "God, I hope not!" with a smile.

I love hearing your stories. They resonate within my life, and always bring some tears to my eyes. Thank you for another beautiful one. And, please promise you will show us a picture when the wedding is said and done!

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Larc said...

Wow, this so reminds me of our wedding nearly 4 years ago. We gave everyone 2 weeks notice. I bought my dress at Black Market/White House for $100. We got married at a gazebo behind our post office by the mayor, then most of the guests walked to our house. We had food that we and my MIL made, my mom bought the cake, and the wedding lasted from 10 am to 10 pm because we were all having so much fun! My SIL hired an accordion player to surprise us (we didn't even think about music we were so busy!). 6 months later, we were pregnant with our beautiful daughter. We called it a public elopement, and it was fun to prove you can have a wedding with a little over 2 weeks of planning!

I know your wedding will be as much fun as ours was!!

At 10:14 AM, Blogger kaycee said...

Miss Shauna,
I love how perfectly aligned your life and your wedding plans seem to be. I married a wonderful man almost six years ago, but the ceremony, while beautiful, wasn't entirely what we wanted. We were young, and in the south, with la-de-da mothers and best friends. We didn't quite know how to articulate what we envisioned for our wedding, but we Have envisioned what we want our marriage to be and made that happen- which is very much more important. So I read this post with joy for you, and thankfulness, because as someone who is just starting to figure out what her body needs- you are an inspiration for combining needs of the body with needs of the heart. Yes, I am a cheese ball.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Shauna, I know you're a writer, I know you love words - I can see just how hard it must have been for you to trim your book down, and sometimes, just sometimes, I'm afraid I do skim your posts - but in general I'm so delighted by what I read - I love your attitude to, well, to life really. Not wanting to spend a fortune on something irrelevant, but still wanting it to be important.

And of course, I keep coming back for the gluten-free food!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...

You ROCK! The dress and the dress shop sound perfect for ya...I had written to you to share that my daughter and daughter in law's dresses came from Good Will and a church rummage sale and my sis made mine for ten bucks to let you know it is okay to not go the frou frou route. YOU GO GIRL! This wedding is all Y-O-U and that is the way it should be. HUGS

At 3:45 PM, Blogger M said...

Oh Shauna, Shauna, Shauna! I'm so happy for you I actually clapped my hands. There is this vintagey wedding dress store that I pass by and I always think about you when I drive by it. Guess you didn't need to come all the way to California to find the dream dress though! Congrats!

At 4:44 PM, Blogger DCTopHat said...

Congrats on the wedding! Thats amazing you found the perfect dress! A lot of my frieds are getting married these days and they say finding the right dress is the most important part. They go to places like Lord and Taylor and spend the whole day trying different ones on. I guess it just hits you when you find the right won. Congrats again!

At 5:19 PM, Blogger s'kat said...

Goodness, Shauna, I swear everytime I read one of your posts, my world glows a little bit warmer.

Congrats on finding the right dress! I too (as a thrift-store shopper) was horrified at the cost of a once-in-a-lifetime dress... but when I found mine, it was the right price, and it was just perfect.

That's just lovely that you wandered into that particular shop. Everything seems to happen for a reason.

Also- thank you for continuing to share your story. With so much ill in the world, this really makes the balance okay again.

At 2:29 AM, Blogger Gemma said...

Shauna, once again I am coming over all misty eyed as I read your posts. I read about you planning your wedding and it is how I see my own wedding happening one day, relaxed, smiling, and fun. I wish you both all the best and I look forward to seeing a photo of you in your dress.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Loztnausten said...

If we plead hard enough, will you do a follow up blog and post pics of you in that serendipitous wedding gown? :)

At 6:56 AM, Blogger anna said...

Oh my, you made me drip tears into my coffee this morning!
How I love your gorgeous love stories. Your writing voice is so clear and stinkingly beautiful, I have to admit it's not the first time I have teared into my coffee over your blog!
The universe is aligning perfectly to celebrate the love you have found together. Of course you would find the right dress!! : )

At 6:56 AM, Blogger madre-terra said...

Twenty years ago I got married in NYC at city hall. I wore a large white shirt over black leggings. Our wedding gift that day was a bunch of grapes. The most precious grapes in the world.
I love hearing about your wedding.
My dream is to become a minister in order ot facilitate weddings. I'm going to be "Mother Earth Marital Services". I keep thinking that it is my retirement plan. The after the kids are out of high shcool plan and the husband's ceramic business doesn't need me so much plan.
Maybe it's better if it became next weeks plan.
Blessings. I love the beach idea. There's nothing like the Puget Sound for some good love energy.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Michelle Ann said...

What a beautiful posts. It sounds like you had "fairy godmothers" helping you with your dress. It truly was fate...

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Gaile said...

I love how this story is coming together. And I love the new word - horrifinalia - I am so going to add that to my lexicon!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Samatakah said...

I also thought I would wear red (dark), or maybe blue... wound up with an ivory and gold dress that sounds garish but isn't, and at Jessica McClintock fercryingoutloud! And because of my ballroom dance hobby I have worn it a dozen times.

I was going to offer it to you, but it was so clear that you were going to find "your" dress that I knew you wouldn't want "mine."

Here is to love, and hope.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Samatakah said...

Oh, PS - I found that the "knowing your dress" thing was replicated with our house when we were house-shopping, not to mention that it repeated finding the actual spouse! I met mine online too. Miracles happen.


At 6:19 PM, Blogger Jules said...

Your dress sounds perfect, I think I have found mine, problem being it costs an arm and a leg and I only have a finger!!

I came to your site by vivisimo searching for "going gluten free". Our darling defiant two year old daughter has been given the gluten intolerance label and the more I read the more I am convinced it will have benefits for all of us. I will be adding you to my favourites to visit for recipes and to read a great blog. Thank you.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Audra and Kenan said...

Love the new picture of you two! I'll have to show the girls that they made your blog!

XO! Audra

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Ally said...

I love that your wedding is going to be simple and about what's important. And yeah for elegant (and inexpensive) wedding gowns.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

You found your dress! You found your dress! You found your dress! (Can you tell that I'm bouncing up and down as I type this?) And what a wonderful story to go with it.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger lulabell said...

awe~ yeah for weddings!!!

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Beautifully written. I actually had a train on my dress, something I laughed at and despised, because of my husband. I was giggling with friends, talking about "freight trains" (you know, the ones that go on for yards and yards) and how silly the whole idea of something draggin on the ground behind you is, how impractical. Then he looked at me and said, "but you would look so beautiful with a train". His eyes sparkled when he said it.

So I wore a train. And he cried again when I walked up to meet him on our wedding day :-)

Congratulations to both of you!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Susan G said...

In 1966, I found 'my' dress a subway ride away, at Loeman's in the Bronx (the TJMax of its day), a bargain, simple and sentimental. It's hanging in my closet now, years and children and grandchildren later. In the end it's more than a dress -- a symbol of a day of happiness. Best wishes to you both.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


Thank you. Your wedding sounds wonderful, particularly the kites!


We all find the dress that suits us best. Congratulations on your wedding!

Mrs. Naramor,

Oh yes, it has to be a surprise to him. No matter what I wear, he will be happy. But I know that this dress is going to knock him out!


I love that story. Why can’t bridesmaid’s dresses be the bridal dress? Perfect.

Thank you for what you wrote about the book. I’ll do my best!


That beaming smile won’t leave my face all day. I can guarantee that. And you know what? I think more of us, like you and me, enjoy the wedding planning than others believe. Thanks!


Thank you so much! If I can help remind people to love each other more? I’m so damned happy I could squeal.

Slacker Mom,

I hope you did make the recipe. Let me know how it went! I hope that spring comes for you soon.

I don’t know if I’ll keep the dress the way it is. I could have it cut down and turned into a red cocktail dress. But you never know….

Eh…not so much,

Yes! That was exactly the feeling.

And what a beautiful dress you had!


Oh, I can absolutely guarantee that the Chef will cry. So will I. We have already written Kleenexes on the list of things we HAVE to buy for the wedding.

And oh yes, there will be pictures afterward.


Oh god, your wedding sounds fantastic! I love the accordion player, in particular.

We’re calling ours a great party, with a little ceremony in the middle of it.


I’m sorry your wedding wasn’t what you wanted, entirely. But at least you have the marriage, and this new knowledge.

And if you’re a cheese ball? Oh god, I’m a cheese beach ball!


Oh heavens, I don’t expect everyone to read every word, every time. It’s perfectly fine to go straight to the recipes. I write this site as much for myself as anyone else — especially after the piece I wrote a couple of months ago. If people find connection here, as you do, then I’m thrilled!

Lynn Barry,

Thank you! I love the way you celebrate everything, my dear.


Thank you for clapping your hands. I’m glad I didn’t have to go to California for the dress, but I so appreciate the thought.


I have to say — I’m glad I didn’t have to go to Lord and Taylor and take all day. It does just take one, in the end.


Thank you, my dear. I swear, this is one of the best comments I have ever received. Your comment that the world glows warmer? Well, it has been affecting much of what I do the last two days. Thank you.


Thank you so much. You know, there are plenty of us out here, the women who refuse to give into the gee-gaw and frou-frou. Who just want to laugh and enjoy ourselves. You can be one too.


Oh, I can promise you — there will be pictures and paeans to the day. Plenty of stories, I’m sure. If you can stand all those details, I’ll be willing to share.


What a wonderful image — the tears dripping into your coffee. Thank you.


Follow that dream, my dear. If you were out here, and able to perform the ceremony, we’d be happy to have you on the beach with us.

Michelle ann,

It did feel a little like fairy godmothers. Not the type I expected, at all. The best kind.


I was pretty happy when that word popped into my head, I have to admit!


Thank you for the offer. I’m really moved. This one will be great, and it will definitely be a day of love and hope.

And as far as the house goes? Oh, we’ll have to wait for that one.


I’m so happy that I can help feed your two-year-old. And you. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.


Thanks, my dear! Teaching those girls that day was one of the highlights of the last few weeks for me, and there has been a lot going on. Please tell them I shout a big hello!


Simple. That’s all we know how to do. Life is too complicated to make it even more so with silly wedding details.


Thank you for your bouncing! That’s how I feel too.


I didn’t know I’d be writing so much about the wedding, but there have been so many requests. And I find that I have to write about it — it’s a big part of my life right now!

Susan G,

What a beautiful story. (And I know Loeman’s.) I love that you still adore that dress so. Thank you for sharing.

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Robin said...

I love how you found your dress! It was there just waiting on you at the right moment. Congratulations!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Bella Spills said...

I've been haunting your website lately, since I'm attempting to go gluten-free. Thanks for all the tips! But most of all, I wanted to comment on your wedding dress. I was married last year, and I took on the philosophy to get a dress that would look good on me as-is. (I too, am what they like to call curvy.) No worries, no gym, no diet, just ME. I swear that this philosophy took at least 75% of the stress away from the wedding planning. You made a beautiful choice.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

Life seems always to lead you in just the right direction! What a great story! The dress sounds like it will be another perfect element in a perfect day!

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

would you be able/willing to email me a pic of your dress? I am also 39, also newly engaged, and also seeking something less than princessy to wear on my special day. I found a kelly green dress that MAY be the one, but i keep dreaming of white and want to see what you have found. I resonate so much with your feelings about being married, having a wedding, etc. thanks so much. ~ jaya

At 12:02 PM, Blogger britni said...

This bowl is also good with a fried egg on top. And radish sprouts. Try it :)


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