Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Like rabbits!

Ever the over-achievers, two couples of this summer's Team Matrimonial are already expecting!

It looks like our rounds of wedding attendance will be replaced by rounds of baby showers. Time to start cooing over the cute things on the web....

Hopefully, someone will name their child Zeke or Zelda. (The H for Horse is nowhere near as much fun.)

The babies can rewrite history as settlers and Native Americans float above their cribs...
Show down in the Wild West from SaltyandSweet

Just what Bay Area renters need:
A portable "Grow with me" growth chart from Inklore

For the future executive...
kraftykim, via thoughtfulday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rings from Nature

Ooops! Somehow I stumbled into jewelry while Christmas shopping for other people.

Though my rings are fairly traditional, even vintage style, I'm loving the organic shapes, raw diamonds, and architectural balance of these designs, along with the artists' commitments to "right relationship with the earth, people and our natural and social environment as a whole."

These are great options for someone looking for designs a little more fashion forward than what's offered at Brilliant Earth (and further fodder for the files of "if we did it again, but slightly differently."*)

Shibumi Gallery, in Berkeley, is another stylish source of sustainably crafted, artisanal rings, as is the blogosphere's much beloved Beth Cyr.

Wouldn't this be a great ring for a surfer girl?

A stunning non-traditional engagement ring...

Todd Reed

Todd Reed

Todd Reed

*Or, recalling the advice from my niece to get one engagement ring for each finger, perhaps these are required as part of our marital contract ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anniversaries and milestones

What, anniversaries already, when you're still posting wedding recaps???

Well and duly noted, Observant Reader.

It is, however, a year and a couple days since Eric and I got engaged (a story I recounted here), which, to my mind, was the point at which our commitment became permanent. At first, the commitment felt like such a private thing that a public ceremony and party seemed superfluous. But, as a wise person pointed out, a relationship may be private, but a marriage is public.

Simultaneous with that anniversary, a number of milestones were growing near: would the blog reach 50 followers, 200 posts, or the blogoversary of a year of posting first?

50 came first! (Five more posts until the bicentennial. Another month 'til the blogoversary.)

I am honored, Dear Readers, that you take time to check in on Chez Barefoot and share your thoughts. It's been such a pleasure virtually meeting the thoughtful, down-to-earth wedding bloggers. You all saved my sanity more than once during the wedding planning process. I've learned a ton from your comments, and from reading your blogs. My wedding planning -- and life! -- have been considerably enriched by sharing this journey with my virtual friends. (I even have a partial post called "How blogging helped me write my dissertation." Eventually I'll get around to finishing it and demonstrate how procrastination was actually a useful scholarly tool. Take note, current PhD candidates!)

What's next? I just received 944 wedding photos -- some more of those will surely show up in this space. I have some more ideas about planning a green and sane wedding that I'd like to share... and these will probably segue into thoughts about having a green and sane married life: having more time, more joy and less stuff.

Friday, December 11, 2009

For the treehugger who's been nice, very nice

Oh my. I'm supposed to be finishing up my Christmas shopping online before we wing off to Pataogonia, but instead I've stumbled across a new Etsy love: nodeform. The balance and design of swirly architectural/ organic shapes is just amazing.

Maybe Santa's reading...

I'd love to wrap my arm in leaves...
Or bark...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The princess and the pea, and the elusive organic cotton sheets

Once there was a princess who was both sensitive and thoughtful. When it came time for her to wed, family and friends asked what kinds of gifts would please the blissful couple. Linens to stock the new household was the answer.

But not just any linens. Because of her sensitive skin, the princess insisted on sleeping on sheets that had a count of at least 500 threads per inch, and towels that felt soft to the hand. And because of her thoughtfulness, she wanted linens that would create the least amount of pollution in their production.

She and the prince visited a large emporium to caress all the linens until they found sheets and towels that met their needs for both softness and sustainability, made of organic cotton.

They conveyed this information to their friends, who generously gifted the perfect organic cotton towels to the happy couple.

The couple was so pleased with the towels that they returned to the emporium to purchase a few more for their houseguests to use. They were then dismayed to learn that the organic line had been discontinued, and towels in their color were no longer available.

Through the magic of the internet, they were able to find other organic cotton towels, but some were the wrong color and others appeared poorly made. Sadly, they left the store with conventional cotton towels, disappointed that it was so difficult to find the type of sustainably produced towels they sought.

{Anyone got a good source for soft organic towels???}

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How we almost avoided a first dance

Neither the Mr. nor I are especially graceful dancers. Of the two of us, he has more skill. My style is more to bounce and bob in some semblance of rhythm with the music. I have no real moves.

While dancing with one of the mister's friends at a wedding the month before ours, the friend suggested that I might want to look into dance lessons before our wedding (!). Yeah, I'm that uncoordinated.

Over the summer, we had planned to take some ballroom dancing lessons at a place just a mile or so from our house. But with the mayhem of dissertation writing, job starting and wedding planning, the plan never became reality.

We figured we'd have the DJ start the music while we were cutting the cake, so that guests could immediately begin dancing. At first, the plan went well. The infectious '80s music drew everyone onto the dance floor.

But then... our plan was foiled! The Women of Honor stopped the music for toasts, and to start the dancing again, the DJ played In Your Eyes and everyone spread to the edges of the room. I think they even chanted first dance, first dance. This despite the fact that it was after 9, and we were sweaty from dancing for hours.

So there we were, in the middle of an empty room, with nothing to do but dance.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The trouble with wife

Of all the terms we have for our beloveds, wife is not sitting well with me.

Fiancee felt so glamorous. It implied limitless potential. It was redolent of endless rounds of chic parties, cocktail dresses, and Audrey Hepburn's effortless grace and style.

Wife brings all that glamorous potential down to the ground with a thud. Pot roasts. Vacuuming.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled beyond belief to be Eric's spouse. His life partner. His companion. Even his muse or 'better half.' I just don't want to be a wife.

I brought this up at a party with some recently married friends.

Me: Is anyone else having trouble with the word wife?
Woman #1: Yeah, it's an ugly word. Like 'moist.'
Me: Moist?
Woman #1: Yeah grimaces ] moist, wife. Ugh. Those words don't role off the tongue. Not like husband.
Man #1: "Moist wife" - that's just how I like her to be. heh heh.
Woman #2: Wife might be ok. Just wait 'til you're a Mom.

I know that there's a move to 'reclaim' wife. Good. We should do that. In the meantime, I think I'd rather be a partner or a spouse.

Husband is awesome. During our reception, I was running around, inquiring of every guest: "Have you seen my HUSBAND?" So fun.

But 'wife', in my mind, is too much tied to confining, 1950s-style images, of the loss of idealism and creativity so brilliantly captured in Revolutionary Road. I feel like I might suddenly become invisible. Wife seems so tied up with essentialized images of 'how women are' and 'what women should be': endlessly caring, subverting their needs to those of their families, putting their dreams and goals on hold to nurture those of others.

Is anyone else having trouble with the term wife?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Persimmon perfection

What an adorable and tasty way to do escort cards/ favors all in one! The persimmons could be delicious snacks, mid-party, when energy is waning.

Now there's a whole new category in my mind: if we did it again, but slightly differently. This idea is definitely filed there.

Which is not to say that I would have done anything differently. Although people say that things will go wrong -- and it's certainly a good idea to be prepared for that eventuality -- I can honestly say that virtually nothing* went wrong.

Our persimmons were artfully scattered, along with pomegranates, as table decor. Local, seasonal, and easy to procure, they picked up the deeps reds and oranges of the flowers and gentlemen's ties.

Guests took home these healthy snacks. A month later, they are just eating last ones. The sturdiness of autumn foods like pumpkins, squashes and pomegranates makes me think of fortitude, forbearance, and persistence.

*To my knowledge, three rather minor things went wrong.** There might have been others, but I was blissfully unaware, having handed off the reins to our Day of Coordinator. I didn't even know about two of the glitches until the end of the evening, when Eric told me as we were driving away. I am so grateful that he shielded me from fretting about these details during the evening. The other incident -- the result of misunderstanding combined with a bit of deafness -- I dealt with in two minutes and then things were fine.

** Maybe there was a fourth: Guests weren't able to hear the splendid acoustic stylings of our friends during cocktail hour because of the poor acoustics of the reception space. Oh well.

Thanks to wedding guests Rob and Madeleine for the photos!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our wedding on Green Wedding Shoes!!!

Wow, wow, wow!

I've been reading Green Wedding Shoes for ages, seeking inspiration and admiring all the stylish, sophisticated weddings featured there -- and now we get to join that exalted company!

Aiii-yiiii! Go check it!

I am so honored that our our efforts toward an environmentally and socially responsible wedding inspired photographer Kate Harrison to create a new promotion. She wrote to me:

[Y]our amazing & close to your heart (and mine!) efforts to have a
sustainable and organic wedding really knocked my socks off and fired me up. ... your wedding inspired me to create "bee-green", which encourages couples to incorporate five eco elements into their wedding for 5% off their photography.

How cool is that??? I couldn't be more pleased that Kate is encouraging other brides to consider sustainable, organic, local and reusable options! What a great way to share the joy, while stepping lightly on the planet. Now, go forth, and bee green!

Godspeed, Team Matrimonial

Part of what made my journey toward the wedding extra special fun was that it was shared with four other couple friends: Data Monkey and Mountain Man Mike had the lead off last May. (We'll soon be going to a baby shower for those precocious kids!).

The wedding season really got rolling later in the summer, when the weddings of BootCamp, Dr. Cowgirl, and Doc Water and Doc Bee occurred in three consecutive months... leading up to the grand finale, Barefoot on the Beach Day, in late October.

The final three weddings were deeply intertwined. Doc Water and Dr. Cowgirl had been housemates in grad school and remain close friends. Doc Bee and Mr. Barefoot were grad school friends on the east coast, and both ended up in the Bay Area, where they collaborated on research projects. Dr. Cowgirl and I bonded during our first days of grad school when I admired her intricate ring, and I got to know Doc Water when they were housemates.

We were all at a dinner party, when Dr. Cowgirl's husband, the soon-to-be Dr. J, observed that he had never been at a party where everyone in attendance was married. All being newly married, none of the rest of us had either. Wow. Go, Team Matrimonial!

Sharing the ups and downs of the journey - as well as paper lanterns, twinkling lights, vases, invitation beta, decor tricks, registry advice, dress shopping expeditions, minor freakouts and hair styling tips - with these lovely folks made it ever so much more sweet and memorable.*

It was bittersweet, then, to bid Doc Water and Doc Bee farewell last night, as they gave away their house plants and cleaning products, and urged us to down what remained of their liquor cabinet, as they prepared to point their car east and begin new jobs in a distant southern metropolis.

Too soon, too soon! We just finished celebrating! Sometimes being a grownup kinda sucks.

*especially, perhaps, because I don't have sisters -- these ladies filled in on the pre-wedding girl-talk.