The magical flying beast and Matrimony teaser

After 2 magical weeks in the USA, we are back in New Zealand. The process always feels so magical to me. Chris commented this time that it messes with his sense of distance. When he drives somewhere you have to physically see each tree, stone or house that passes you by. Perhaps it effects me slightly less as a passenger in the car, but his comment really struck home with me. I can tell how far I went in a car, and I know I can retrace that journey. In the air plane I am dependent on others.

We spent most the first week with wedding prep, and the second with a sort of detox that only those who have done DIY weddings can understand. In the end the wedding was absolutely perfect. And by perfect I mean it had little hiccups that make it unique along with tears of love and sparkles. The main pictures won’t be out for a while, but I wanted to just post one action shot taken by my uncle.

Laura and Dawson Van Pelt

Its been about a month since my last post which can only mean one thing…I’ll tell you next time.


The Holidays

Its hard to write when you aren’t alone. So I guess it is no surprise that over the past two weeks I’ve written nothing at all. That doesn’t mean I was uninspired or out of ideas, but I need solitude to actually make something come out of this brain of mine.

It was our first Christmas just the two of us, and while I think Chris was sad and a little lonely for family, I’m still excited by new traditions forming and slow relaxed pace. I did miss the chaos and noise, but I guess next year we will more than make up for it all.

For New Years we went down to Dunedin–the city where Chris and I met. We spent the evening apart, as he had a stag thing to do, but the rest of the trip we wandered around reminiscing about where it (meaning our love–queue sappy music) all started.

In terms of tourism, I feel like Dunedin could probably occupy about 2 days of your time just wandering around the city (although I use that term loosely) and using it as a base to look at a few nature-esk things.

We had fish and chips (the fish is under there I swear)

up at the top of Signal Hill like we had previously.

Chris told me the first time I was polite, and the second time I told him I hated nature. It was a lovely day (actually Dunedin played a nasty trick on us by being warm and sunny for our entire trip) and I enjoyed the company and view.

If you make it down, the only pub I can recommend you go to is Inch bar. I love this place so much. It feels a bit like a hobbit hole, and they have a new owner since I was there. They have also expanded to have a stage. Yes–electric violin the night I was there. Pure bliss.

The reason for the trip was really our friend’s wedding. It was stunning. Nature was their main decorative theme, and we gathered around in this basen-like-hill place (I’m sure there is some technical geological term for it) in a place called Karitane (just 30min from Dunedin) and watched them hike towards us to a German singing over the rainbow on the ukulele.

It was stunning.

The food later was amazing.

Don’t mind my pissed off face, I didn’t know what Chris was doing with my phone…

Also, this is New Zealand, so it wouldn’t be complete without a visit from SHEEP. I love sheep so much.

I couldn’t think of any good New Year’s resolutions. I tend to not have any, but I’m still thinking…

Rings and Lakes

So, the reason for the rush was the not-so-secret surprise engagement celebration for my sister and her fiance. And I’m glad that we made it.

Engagements are a funny thing. For most people it isn’t a movie moment where the girl is utterly surprised by the question and the man is nervous she will say ‘no’. There needs to be some type of conversation before that happens, lest you enter youtube hall of fame as ‘proposal fail’–which is totally a thing. I’ve often lamented the fact that boys (traditionally, and hopefully this will change in the next 100 years) get to choose the girl, and decide to ask. That is quite an open, albeit scary situation. A girl has to wait, and only has the option of yes or no. Why are the men the askers and the girls the answerers? Only being able to answer is stifling and also implies that they must wait for the guy alone to be ready. He controls the time, place, method, speech and women get an almost inaudible yes or no?

Anyway, D had an amazing event planned and I’m glad it worked out–he knew it would because they’d talked about it. Which is, as I said, key. The party was excellent, and it was great to meet his family in that way.

But there was an awkward moment. There came a time when it was necessary to exchange engagement stories. Now, I grew up knowing my parent’s story. It wasn’t fireworks–it was a solid love and commitment and mutual decision. The best thing is to decide together to live your lives rather than one person think its a good idea and the other agree. I never missed the glitz from it. The hard part is talking about my own which is somewhere in between flash, mutual decision and plain old practicality. Of course there was and is love. Its just not the world’s best story. Depending on who I’m reciting it to I’ve began, not exactly lying but, stretching the truth. What do people want to hear? I’ll tell them that!For me, in reality, it happened Christmas 2010. In the best way that it could have. A way that is uniquely weird and us:

Jane: indeed.. well yuo nevr said yes or n0
2:05 PM me: did you ask?
 Jane: kinda
2:06 PM me: in person or just now over gtalk?
2:07 PM Jane: hehe gtalk
Jane: as i said. will you marry me
 me: 😉
1:00 PM sure
 Jane: sweet.. tht was easy
 me: nervous for a sec there?
1:01 PM Jane: not really/.. legs elope 🙂
1:03 PM me: hmm do you know if we can? your goverment is kinda strict
1:04 PM Jane: it’ll be fine i amsure
1:05 PM well ok the diffrence is wheathe we gegt amrried and or you apply for citezenship
 me: hahaha

That was over the course of two days 27th and 28th while I was in Japan and he was in the UK. And yes, for some reason my nickname for Chris on Gchat is Jane. Its a long story. The problem for me after this Christmas was the waiting. And that is something my sister also is experiencing. Why do we wait? What are we planning for? Why must there be a ring? Who actually cares about this stuff? Obviously the important thing to ask after the big question is…how can this legally be done–and it was actually a bit of a pain.

The story I tell most people involves the ring, and being at home and happy. But that isn’t how it happened. Not really.

Enough about me. My sister’s was that magical dream night. The went to dinner. He took her to the lake out behind his house and rowed to the middle. There he got down on one knee and asked (with an elegant speech I wish he had saved) and then he signaled for fireworks.

He rowed ashore to where we all were waiting with champagne and cake.

You can’t really top that.


Why are engagements a big deal? Why do we crave stories that prove the man’s prowess and romanticism to woo a woman?

I have no answers. I just know that they are and I’m ecstatic for my sister.


Wedding bells

Before you get married you compare all weddings to either your own personal fantasy or to those you attended. After your wedding, it is always a game of looking back with inevitable comparisons, advise for those in the midst of it and if you self-critical like me, you see all the missed opportunities. Chris’ sister got married in July, and my sister will get married in February so weddings is on the brain. But for now, I want to dive into reminiscing about July.

After wales, we loaded up our tiny little car with not 1, but 2 big tents for a wonderful garden wedding. We drove 1 min. down the road and of course something broke (don’t ask me what), and we were delayed a few hours. As a result my lunch break with a dear friend was cut a little short and I never walked the streets of that wonderful book town that I’d been dreaming about, called Hay-on-Wye. I guess there is always next time.

We arrived and had about a week-worth of helping out. Small trips to the stores to buy out flowers, setting up marques in the garden, creating the perfect mood lighting with candles and just general cleaning. It was relaxing to be involved and not the centre. Weddings=stress in case you didn’t know.

It was a two-day affair and we were completely surrounded by love. A small group of us went to the registry office in downtown Manchester and witnessed their vows, signing of papers and dedication to one another. Chris cried, and he wasn’t the only one.

Back at their house we were greeted by tasty hors d’oeuvres and the perfect garden ambiance. It being almost 4 months ago, and last time that Chris got to see all his family in one happy bunch.

So, I must ask myself, why write about this now? Well, to share pictures, to remember the event, celebrate their love and document my next moves. But is that enough of an agenda? Probably not.