Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Little Houseguest

As I mentioned, we had some lovely houseguests for Bill and Jenny's wedding: Hilary, Steven, and their son Phil. 

Never having such a little one stay with us before, Ed and I had lots of fun listening to the happy sounds of a one year old, and playing and reading with him. 

He had a very cute toy gavel that he loved to use to bang on anything and everything, even my shoe!

He definitely warmed up to me by the end of his visit, and I had lots of fun reading him stories.

And Ed also got to bond with this little man. 

We're really looking forward to visiting this family on our back East trip in the not to distant future!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy One Year of Marriage!

Just a short post (I'll probably do a longer one later that's a bit more reflective), but I wanted to commemorate the fact that today, Ed and I have been officially married for one year! It's really flown by, and it's hard to believe that we're heading into year number two. 

We're celebrating this anniversary with my parents and sister as we finish our visit to Big Bear. After dinner, we're going to go out for some drinks, and we're planning on having our "real" celebration back home (maybe Friday?) - making a nice dinner at home and drinking the wine we brought home from our honeymoon.

I do feel so incredibly thankful to be married to such a wonderful man, and look forward to the many many years to come.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bill and Jenny's Wedding!

This wedding was one that we have been really looking forward to. Bill is a very special friend to Ed (and me) and his (now) wife Jenny has been such a great person to get to know over the course of their relationship. The ceremony itself was beautiful (though I have no pictures as I didn't want to mess up the official pictures, and I wanted to just focus on enjoying the wedding). During the ceremony, I was on "Phil duty" - holding my friend's adorable ring bearer son while she did a reading. I was thankful that he stayed happy and quiet during the ceremony, and can't deny that I didn't love spending a little quality time with the guy. I really loved seeing all the personal touches that went into the ceremony, and just how happy Bill and Jenny were to be exchanging vows. 

After the ceremony, Hilary, Phil and I headed back to the apartment to freshen up and do a few things. Ed swung by to pick me up a few minutes later, and we were off to the reception, the Cinabar Country Club, a beautiful place in South San Jose that made us long to live in this kind of more open area. 

Ed looked dashing, as always, in his tux as we got settled in for the evening. 

We had wonderfully close seats to the happy couple, as we were sitting at the table with the two toast givers, which meant we had a great view of all the festivities. 

 The cake(s) were just beautiful, and very tasty. The groom's cake was modeled after a game that Bill, the groom, loves (and that he introduced to us as well). That was the cake we ended up having, and it was wonderful.

Ed with best man, Steven, who gave a wonderful speech about the happy couple. 

I finally got to wear my new polkadot dress to the wedding, that Ed bought me as an early first anniversary gift.

After a delicious dinner of salad and filet mignon, it was time for the first dance. Ed and I weren't familiar with the song, but had a great time watching them dance and serenade each other with the song lyrics.

It was a warm day, but that meant that as evening fell, it was a perfect temperature outside.

One of my favorite pictures of us in a while - it was so nice to just spend some quiet time together outside.

The grounds continued to look beautiful as the sun began to fall, bathing these beautiful golden hills in light (and making us very much appreciate living in the bay area).

(Ed can definitely wear a tux well :) )

Once we came back inside, dancing got started and, for the most part, we just enjoyed watching the others out there (though we did dance to at least one song).

Before we knew it, it was time for the cake cutting and more celebrating, and then finally heading home. 

The next morning as the low key and lovely brunch, we got to have one more celebration, and then it was back to normal life. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wedding Rehearsal

 Ed was a groomsman in his friend Bill's wedding, and so we had the privilege of being their for the wedding rehearsal. All the weddings that we've attended since our own have been so special, because they've allowed for a lot of reflection about our own. I think, especially with our anniversary approaching rapidly, our wedding has been on my mind, and it's been so fun to think about.

Weddings are all so different, and this one was special with a lot of different symbolism and meaning interjected.

Ed got to escort his friend's sister, who he's known for a very long time, which was special.

This church was just beautiful - the bride Jenny's family has gone to this church for a long time - it was the perfect setting.

They had a very special ring bearer in the wedding - baby Phil, who at a year old was a scene stealer. His mom (and our friend) Hilary pulled hi down the aisle in a red wagaon, and he did a great job.

 After the rehearsal, we headed over for the rehearsal dinner, which was at one of the San Jose hot spots, Santana Row. It was very crowded, so we parked on the top level. The benefit? A beautiful view of the evening.

We tried to take a self portrait, but "failed" - still, sort of a fun picture.

After the lovely dinner at "Left Bank," we stopped by a coffee shop and just chatted and relaxed. (side note - I got to wear my new dress that Ed convinced me to buy and am sporting my new haircut!)

It was a lovely day of celebration in perparation for the even more lovely wedding to come

Friday, June 24, 2011

Short but Sweet LA Visit

Early last week, Ed and I took a fast and furious trip to LA (drove down Monday and back up Tuesday morning) for a work related meeting of Ed's. He looked very nice as always in his suit (and, now that I look at the picture, wearing the shirt and tie I got him for Christmas). 

We had a quick lunch at CPK in Westwood when we got into town, and then spent a few hours on campus so Ed could prepare and I could read :). I hung out in this food court area and some outside while Ed did his work thing, and by 4:30ish we were done!

Next up, we drove the hour (in traffic - I think it could be 20-30 minutes at a better time of day) to go visit my sister, brother and law, and best niece ever. 

Our little pirate Amelia (the hat is left over from her trip to Disneyland for her mom's work

We went out to their great local sushi place, where Amelia amused us by showing us that she could stand while holding onto something - she's just about 5 months and has grown so much!

This was Ed's first opportunity to meet Amelia, and they got some great bonding. This is the first time he got to hold her.

I, of course, couldn't get enough of her.

Her eyes have probably set at this point, and are a pretty blue like my sister.

While the visit was entirely too quick, I was so happy to see this part of my family. Sometimes it's hard to live so far from everyone else, but we enjoy every possible extra moment we get with family. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


*seems like I keep having reasons to brag about Ed - he's just that great :) *
The Monday before last, Ed and I took a whilwind trip down to LA for him to interview for a very special fellowship. Out of a large group of applicats, Ed was chosen as a finalist for the UC Accord fellowship, a prestigious award that is given to, "engage UC scholars in research that will support and inform Californians’ efforts to replace prevailing patterns of schooling inequality and disparities in access to higher education with equitable conditions and outcomes for children from all sectors of our diverse state" (source - UC Accord website). 

Today, we found out that out of everyone, he was awarded one of the 8-10 fellowships offered this year, a $20,000 award to support the completion of his dissertation. Not only is it amazing to be given such a large sum of money, but this kind of recognition validates that Ed is doing important and substantial work that is seen as valuable by the University system.

 I feel very proud that Ed is working in such an important field and for such great goals. Through both of our educations at UCSC, we have became much more aware of equity and disparity issues in the classroom, and I'm thrilled that Ed's work can be used towards reshaping the policies that create some of these problems. 

This is a really exciting time in our lives, as Ed spends this last year completing his last year of his five years towards this PhD, and we begin to think about where we'll be heading next. 

In case you can't tell, I'm very very proud of him and all he has and will continue to accomplish.

Steam Cleaning

We had some very special guests coming to stay with us for our friends' wedding, and decided to take this as an opportunity to do some important cleaning. 

Namely - renting a steam cleaner! We did one room at a time, first emptying the room, then vacuuming it, and then using the steam cleaner. 

Here it is before (post vacuum):

Our lovely steam cleaner (rented from Lucky's), filled with hot soapy water (you need to buy a special solution).

And the "After" picture:

Verdict? The water that came out of the machine seemed very dirty, so we're assuming that it did clean it. The spots that we had hoped to have come out didn't, but at least we can feel good the that carpet  is much cleaner than it was. 

We probably won't do this again, but it was a sort of fun (and hopefully helpful) experience. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June on the Patio

Summer has arrived with a gusto this past month (and especially in the past week), so we recently took advantage of the hot weather to eat out on our patio (which we don't seem to do nearly enough).

For dinner, we defrosted some steaks that Ed had bought in bulk a while ago, and grilled them on the stove (so delicious - we rarely have steak at home, and I always so appreciate when we do - I can cook it exactly how I like it - medium rare). 

With it, Ed roasted some potatoes and onions and I cooked up some green beans fresh from the farmer's market (incidently, spending my first Saturday of my "official summer" at the farmer's market was lovely). 

The green beans were delicious, if I do say so myself. I usually have a little bit of trouble cooking these perfectly, but this time I made the good decision to steam them, but pull them off the heat before they were quite finished. Then, I put a "healthy" amount of olive oil in a pan with 5 or so cloves of garlic - I'm very thankful neither Ed nor I have issues with the other eating garlic or onions; they are far too delicious to abstain from - and infused the oil for about a minute or so with the garlicy goodness before adding the beans. I cooked the beans another 2 or 3 minutes and they were perfect - tender but still crisp, with delicious bits of garlic in each bite. 

It was late enough in the evening that we didn't need an umbrella - the patio was already in the shade, and it was a cool 80 or so degrees.

 If this weather keeps up, I have a feeling that we'll be eating a lot of later evening dinners our here. 

After dinner, we stayed outside for another 20 or so minutes, reading, and just soaking in the summer evening. 

(As a side note, that still fits in this post since it's about our backyard, Ed bought new gold fish for our pond! Yes we have a pond - two in fact, and sometimes three when Ed feels like it - and every so often Ed stocks it with very cute goldfish. We now have ten happy little fish and a beautiful flowering water plant. It's a lovely addition to our outside).