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25 June 2007

the bliss of blueberries

our blueberries starting to bloom

Time takes care of that slumped-shouldered overwhelmed feeling. The other day, when I wrote this post, I could feel the weight lifting from my shoulders as I typed. Every sentence slipped me into ease. Reading your lovely comments helped me even more.

I'm doing fine now. Writing helps. The Chef holding me helps even more. Two days off from work with him — eating roasted corn with smoked paprika, pork chops with Moroccan spices, and coral lentils infused with garlic; going to a great dumb movie; and sleeping in so late we could not believe the time when we saw it on the alarm clock — helped most of all.

I have yes tattooed on my wrist for a reason. I have it there to remind me — say yes to every moment as it arises, no matter what the moment. Those times of being confused and stressed out? They're teachers. How would we know what the ground feels like if our toes never left it?

And besides, I realized, I have to be kind to myself. Planning a wedding — no matter how calm and relaxed our wedding will be — involves three hundred details a day, plus twenty-two more on the list for an hour later. Over one hundred people — the greatest hits of everyone in our lives — converging in one place, a white dress, a clear aisle to walk down, and at the end of it — the most beautiful man in the world, standing before me, with tears in his eyes. For over a year, we have been anticipating that image becoming reality. In order to reach it, we have been working toward it.

I just want to marry him.

And three weeks from today, I will.

(Here, I must leave a note I didn't expect to write. The Chef and I created a wedding website, for the dear friends and family who have been invited. I used my blogger profile, because it was easy, and we love the photograph you see in my profile. After the address had been printed on the invitations, and they were slipped in the mail, I found a surprise. Readers of this site had found our wedding website. Dozens of you are going over there to read every hour. No problem, at first. And we're more than grateful for the unexpected presents. However, so many readers have left comments saying, "We'd love to come to your wedding!" that we are both a bit alarmed. Please, everyone — understand. The wedding website is a separate website, and its existence is not an open invitation to anyone reading. Those of you who have sent us comments to RSVP, saying you will be there with your children and food in tow, we have to kindly say: please don't. We really only do have room for our friends and family. It is a private event. We promise — there will be plenty of photographs and stories to follow. Let us have our day to ourselves.)

Three weeks from today, I will be Mrs. Chef. (Ha!)

Today, we met with the woman who will be marrying us. There's a story to how we met her, but I'll have to share it another time. Sitting in a coffee shop with her — Seattle sunlight streaming through the windows, and her smile brighter than that light — we felt safe in her hands. Discussing the order of events, the music our friends will play for us, and the particular touches that will appear at only our wedding? We could both feel it — the wedding is really going to happen. In one moment, as we were discussing the Chef's sister playing one of her songs at the wedding, I looked over to wink at him, and saw his eyes filled with tears.

Oh, I cannot wait to marry him.

Mostly, though, we both remembered this weekend what is really important. A wedding — no matter how joyful or goofy, anticipated or relaxed — is still just one day. What we have together, in the tiny mundane moments of the day, is what will keep us together.

This afternoon, we walked around our garden, in the warm afternoon sun. We did not have anywhere to be for hours. Our bellies were full of chilled quinoa salad with heirloom tomatoes, smoked salmon, and horseradish creme fraiche. Our clean sheets were billowing on the clothesline in the breeze. Our skin smelled of sunlight and warm air. Happiness walked alongside us.

And then we found ourselves in front of the blueberry bush, and we both squealed with delight. The first blueberries of the season were purple-blue and bursting. Ripe blueberries. Our garden. We both reached for one and popped them in our mouths at the same time.

I looked over at him and saw his face widen into a smile. He started jumping up and down, pumping his fists. "Oh damn!" he shouted. "Blueberries!" I did the same, giggling with him. We started talking about homemade blueberry crisps for our family backyard barbeque the day before the wedding.

And suddenly the planning was no longer onerous. It was warm sun, plentiful laughter, hours without anything to do, and blueberry crisps. And the two of us together.

Three weeks until I marry the Chef? Yes, please.


At 1:00 AM, Blogger Joey Robinson said...

Oh Shauna! I was worried about you! Now I hear your familiar voice that we all tune in to read as often as possible. Glad to hear things are settling down. I hope to see you soon!

At 3:25 AM, Blogger Twelfthknit said...

Wow - isn't the internet great, and as you say, a little scary -
I can't imagine myself feeling 'invited' through a bloggers site. but I have to say I had a little smile at the thought of much of the 'interblog' community turning up with Tupperware containers:0)
Hope your day it all you hope it will be,

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Diane said...

Yikes! I hope you have a wonderful relaxing day, free of need to be "Gluten Free Girl" to all your fans for a day, and just enjoy becoming "Mrs. Chef."

Much as I adore you and your writing, I can't imagine crashing someone's else's wedding. Hope people take your kindly-worded suggestion as hardline direction and stay away - you don't need that kind of pressure.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Shauna - I felt so proud of you when I read your "Hey, everyone, we love you all but really, this is OUR wedding and we didn't plan on inviting the whole world ..." Setting clear boundaries and making them known is one of the hardest things about being a grown up, I think. And balancing that with your open heart and gentle soul ... well, hooray for you. You did an eloquent and great job.

Enjoy your day with your special friends and family !! I'll be thinking of you from a seat at a baseball game in San Diego. I'll raise a glass of beer to Shauna & Danny !!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

Long-time reader, and this outraged me so much I had to come out of lurkdom: People invited themselves to your wedding? That is ridonkulous. As if you need more stress!

At 3:00 PM, Blogger kitchenmage said...

When I saw that you had posted the time and place I knew that would happen. You really should designate a person to manage the interlopers, because there will be some.

Have a great day ignoring them and dancing in those hot red boots.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger TheGirlCan'tHelpIt! said...

I really wouldn't want to, and would not, come to your wedding Shauna - I believe those are personal, intimate, moments an should be held as such.

Should you wish to publish the location of the wedding blog site afterward, I'd be interested in seeing it; the blog I mean - I know you'll share the details here that you are comfortable sharing.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You were tagged by me for the Thinking Blogger Award at my site. You can kill me later ;-)
Catherine, the redhead

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


Thank you, my dear. The last few days, I relaxed into it. This is the life we have — planning our wedding!

Midsummer Night's Knitter,

I have to say, I smiled too. The gesture is so sweet. But seriously, we just don't have the space!


Thanks. I agree. It's not going to the Gluten-Free Girl marrying The Chef there. We just want to be with each other.

There are other gatherings in the future, where we can all meet.


Thank you, dear. Boundaries are important. And I guess I didn't set them clearly enough. If I had it to do over again, I would not put the wedding website on my blogger account, so I didn't confuse anyone.

Enjoy that game!


Thanks for your outrage! And for de-lurking. I'm going to think of it as a giant confusion, really. It's over now. (Hopefully!)


Oh dear, I wish you had told me! I never imagined that anyone would think it was an open invitation. Hopefully now....

Still, nothing will ruin that day. Those red-hot boots will be dancing, to be sure. And I will be the happiest woman in the world, dancing in his arms, with a wedding ring on my finger.


Thank you for this lovely comment. And you are right — we will post plenty of photographs and stories. Probably so many that people will grow tired of it, pretty quickly!


I wouldn't kill you! I will just have to pass on that right now. No time! Still, thank you.

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Guin said...

I do declare- it's very strange, this blogosphere. You read someone's blog every day, and you learn so much about them and their lives through their writing that you really do feel like you're the closest of friends. Alas, this kind of friendship is a one-way street. Heck, I read your blog everyday. Yesterday when I have having the worst day possible, I opened it up on my browser because I knew somewhere I'd find something to smile about. (And I did.) But invite myself? Oh dear me. It's sweet that everyone wants to share the wonderful day with you, but it's good that you've set up boundaries. Yay for you.

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Shauna said...

Thank You


At 9:02 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Shauna - I have to say that you and the Chef remind me of a pair of my friends that just got married this past Saturday! The four of you have a fair amount in common in that they joined Team Hertz, met online, one of them is a writer (he also keeps a blog!) and the other in the field of education as well as an overwhelming love for each other that inspires all us single people!
Enjoy the last few weeks leading up to the wedding and the wonderful day itself!

Also - I have to say thank you again for the choclate banana bread recipe! I served it with cream cheese icing as a birthday cake and everybody raved, especcially my aunt who was the birthday girl!


At 11:09 AM, Blogger LoLo said...

I was one of those that thought you had an open-invite and I thought to myself "HOLY COW! I hope a ton-o-people don't show up." Enjoy your day together with friends and family. Intimate weddings are so special-that's how mine was 8 years ago. I will say though that I did visit the blog,after seeing it on the profile. I thought it was another place for readers to visit as well, oops. Look forward to future posts. Enjoy these weeks leading up to the big'll go fast.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Mia said...

It is so strange when people do things like that. I was at a residency interview and one of the other applicants asked if I was going to invite her to my wedding. I was shocked, and politely said, "No." Then she actually asked me, "Why not??" and seemed somewhat offended. Weird. Anyway, I had my wedding about 3 weeks ago, and it was the most wonderful day of my life. I think you and the Chef will feel the way that me and my husband (YES! I have a husband!) did on our wedding day. Neither one of us felt nervous. I only was stressed out right at the moment that I put on my dress, because I needed my mom to lace up the back and the phone kept ringing and the limo guy was there already to pick us up. However, once I was in the car on the way to the church, I couldn't stop smiling. I know that you will take the time during your big day to dance with the Chef, to dance with the kiddos at the wedding, and to eat your tasty gluten free food! :o)

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

I guess that in some twisted way, this is a tribute to your writing that people feel they know you enough by your writing to invite themselves to the biggest day of your life. However, there is a line!

At 12:41 PM, Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

You are crazy silly girl! I can't wait to WATCH you get married!

And blueberries? I am so there. Stalking you to get a bite. xo

At 12:32 PM, Blogger bagelmolester said...

Everyone thought they were invited to a priate wedding? Your readers really ARE dumber than a box of cunts.


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