Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Video - "Andrew and Eva: True Story"

We uploaded our very own wedding video parody. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Honeymoon

Andrew and I were pretty much all planned out by the time thoughts of a honeymoon came up, so basically we just agreed to pack a suitcase and hit the road without committing to where we were even going. With only four days to travel, we thought about New Mexico. My friend Elise had suggested Silver City, so that's where we headed first. We didn't even get out of Tucson until around three, so we hit Silver City after dark. Fortunately we had Kate and Ray's AA guide with us, so we called in a Bear Creek cabin in Pinos Altos. Luckily, they had a vacancy. (Picture of the Bear Creek office above.)

The cabins were so cute and cozy! Perfect for a honeymoon. Art, who checked us in, suggested we go to The Buckhorn Saloon for dinner (pictured below). It turned out to be a cool old place full of antique mining boom days paraphernalia. There was even a contract on the wall signed by Porfirio Diaz himself! We knew the place was gonna be good when we almost parked in a spot that had a sign over it reading: "For witches only - all others will be TOAD", not to mention the fact that Modest Mouse was playing at the bar. I bought a Buckhorn sweatshirt.

The next day we went into Silver City for breakfast. We ended up eating at Nancy's Silver Cafe, which was kinda cool because it was obviously a townie spot, but the food was a not so good. I've made better huevos rancheros myself. We went to the Silver City Museum and it began to dawn on us that the old west mining town thing was going to become the theme of our honeymoon. (Check out the photo below of old-timey stuff from the museum.)

It wasn't long before I was reading every area tourism magazine and pamphlet I could get my hands on (in an old-timey cadence, of course.) I found out that there was a significant Mogollon ruin nearby, so we drove the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

The drive is really beautiful and the dwellings are fascinating. If you're thinking of visiting, don't miss the trail off Lower Scorpion Campground on your way out. There's another dwelling there and a whole slew of petroglyph like the ones pictured below.

By the time we finished with the dwellings, we were getting hungry and tired, so we chose the closest place to lodge for the night. It turned out to be Deming, New Mexico. I seemed to recall that we had stopped in Deming for lunch when we moved to Tucson. "Really? Well, what do you remember?" Andrew asked.

"All I remember is that it was kind of a one horse town."

I was right.

We didn't want to stay at the regular motel eight, so we opted instead for the Grand Motor Inn. Our predilection for off-beat lodging has sometimes gotten Andrew and I in trouble, and this was no exception. We walked in to find gold-lame wallpaper and faux wood paneling in the lounge; Shania Twain blasting from the tavern; and old career waitresses in the restaurant - you know the kind who are so crusty and depressed they can barely crack a smile anymore? That kind. We left a hearty tip.

We were so tired and hungry that we barely cared about the quality of the food or the sad ambiance. Needless to say, however, we didn't opt for seconds. The place did - to state a redeeming quality - have free wifi. We went to our room, drank wine out of a box and surfed the net - which builds up an appetite. At 11:00 pm we began to crave pizza and were infuriated to no end that none of the pizza joints in town would deliver at that "ungodly" hour! There was plenty of gnashing of teeth and shaking of fists in our room that night.

The next morning we went to the Sunrise Cafe for breakfast. I was wearing one of my Paraguay tee shirts, which our waitress noticed immediately. The Mexican restaurateur sat us down and excitedly asked me if I had any Paraguayan folk music, which she loves but can't find anywhere. She asked me to come back and sell her some, to which I replied that we were traveling, upon which she wrote down her mailing address and handed me a twenty dollar bill. I refused the money and told her I could certainly send her a CD for free, especially being that I rarely run across anyone who knows a thing about Paraguayan folk music. She told us the story of her Filipino "uncle" who played violin for her and her sisters when they were young. Apparently he also brought them Paraguayan and Hawaiian music recordings, which forever ring in their memories, associated with his kindness, (because the man brought them bags of grilled cheese sandwiches and strawberries, among other things, when the girls were so young and poor.) The two Mexican sisters of Deming told us many stories, but the one about the Filipino man who loved Paraguayan music and was finally reunited with his Filipino wife and daughter after fleeing the country 43 years earlier was the best story of them all.

So Deming wasn't a complete bust after all. We went to Joe Perk for road coffee (the same coffee shop we had stopped at three years prior on our first run-in with Deming), but alas, the coffee was a not so good.

Our next stop: Elephant Butte. We had read that the lake was the largest and most popular of all New Mexico, and it didn't seem like we had enough time to go all the way to Albuquerque, so Elephant Butte is was. First we drove through Truth or Consequences (which the natives call T or C), and Andrew got all excited because it advertised an antique auto museum. Unfortunately, the truth was it was closed and the consequences: disappointment number two.

We went on to Elephant Butte Lake (as pictured below - can you make out the elephant?) to find nobody there. "How is this the most visited lake in New Mexico?" we wondered. Maybe its heyday was over. We later came to find that the water level was extremely low due to an eight year drought, among other things.

Low water or not, that couldn't keep me from renting a two-person "sea kayak" and dragging Andrew onto the lake with me. We saw some birds and a great deal of jumping fish, but in general the landscape was pretty barren - not that much to see. But I had paid for a three hour rental and that's what I was going to get, gosh darnnit. Turns out the kayak had a crack in it, and was taking on water - not enough to sink it, but enough to make it twice as difficult to paddle. After just under two hours we finally got it back to Marina del Sur. I was feeling fine until we got back in the car. Then I was hit by heatstroke and dehydration I think, because suddenly I felt like complete ass. Poor Andrew drove us around, looking for a place to have dinner, until he finally found one and upon walking in the door and getting a whiff of the aromas from the buffet I almost hurled. We had to turn around and walk out, but not before Andrew got a tip for lodging from the waitress. Fortunately, the Elephant Butte Inn turned out to be quite nice. Andrew checked us in and dragged my sorry ass to bed. After a fifteen minute nap I was fine.

When we went down to the restaurant, (Ivory Tusk), we realized it was Halloween because some people in costumes started coming in to have a drink at the bar. We got a special kick out of the guy pictured below (Bob), who was dressed as - and acting like - a retired Hooter's girl.

I forgot to mention that we would've stayed in the 1940s "cabins" near the Elephant Butte Damn Site if we could've found a person to rent them out: very cute vintage lodging with a perfect lake view. (Call 575-894-2073 for reservations.)

The day after Halloween we thought about getting a spa treatment at the Ivory Spa ($125 for a two hour wrap! What a deal!) but we had heard about a ghost town 45 miles away. The lady at the Elephant Butte Lake office had spoke highly of a place named Chloride and gave us a brochure. She said it would be open and there was more to see than in some of the ghost towns and "living ghost towns" we had been to.

A living ghost town is a town that likely got its start as a mining camp in the 1800s but is still on the map - people still live there. Sometimes you can find original buildings from the Old West period still standing. Sometimes they are marked, sometimes they ain't. For example, Monticello, Cuchillo, Winston and Hillsboro are all living ghost towns, but you might not even realize it passing through because there aren't always historical markers of any sort.

As it was, we drove through Cuchillo and really wanted to eat at the Cuchillo Cafe or browse in the Cuchillo Bar and Store (original building) - but alas, both were closed. Anyhoo, when we finally got to Chloride, we weren't let down. The museum owners were very kind and informative. The museum is actually the "Pioneer Store", which the owners bought after it had been boarded up for seventy years - full of period artifacts, spiders, and rat and bat poop. They painstakingly cleaned it all out, cleaned up all the artifacts and then put them all back again! Here are some of the artifacts on display, including Chloride's first radio in the background.

We also checked out the oldest building in town; Harry Pye's cabin. It is now a two bedroom vacation cabin available for rent.

Our final stop was Chloride's Greenwood Cemetery on the top of a hill (the sign off the main street just reads "Cemetery"). We had to hike up to it, since the road was so bad. The variety in headstones was perhaps the most intriguing part. Some of the headstones were very old, some were new. Some had the regular info, others just said "killed by indians" or nothing at all. The very old and the very young were buried there. Perhaps even the wealthy (judging from the marble headstones) and the poor (judging from the painted plywood headstone).

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Chloride is the near absolute silence. It's sort of in the middle of nowhere, so there is no road noise, air traffic, etc. Only eleven people live there now. In fact, it's so still that a herd of deer walk right through town every day. (They say the young ones are fun to watch when they get to playing.)

The Gifts

This pic, courtesy of PurpleFlor, is of my sister's gift to us, which we used for our "guest book."

Yes, we got some pretty cool gifts, but I'm being completely genuine when I say this: the best gift was having people there.

As far as the second-best gift goes, getting help paying for our wedding was pretty damn sweet.

To all of you who gave gifts, you'll be getting personalized thank you cards soon, but in the meantime, be proud in the knowledge that after all our gifts have been deposited, Andrew and I will only have about $1,500 of wedding expenses left to pay off. ISN'T THAT AWESOME!!!??? You played a pivotal role in helping this couple begin their marriage with minimal credit card debt.

Personally, I think this is wonderfully important, especially when you consider the stats on debt in the United States today. (See sites like for more info.)

I also wanted to say that every gift, from the shortest email to the biggest check, is important to me - so thanks. Really. I was as touched by the crisp twenty dollar bill from rural Iowa as I was the bank-issued three hundred dollar check from the nation's capital.

The Day After

Luckily, Andrew and I were able to set aside time to spend with special guests the next day. We had breakfast with our friends who had flown in from Chicago and DC at The Marriott (great waffles and orange juice, by the way). We had lunch with my family at Sushi Garden (not as good as Sushi King, but the King was closed), and I even got to take them to the DeGrazia Gallery (photo above) and to watch the sun set at Gate's Pass. We had Magpie's Pizza with Andrew's family at their hotel before they crashed after a day at Colossal Caves. It was special to share a little extra time with some of the people who had flown in to share our big day with us. I only regret not being able to hang out with all of them!

The Big Day

I must say that when the big day finally came, I was glad to have enough presence of mind to take photos of me and my dog.

My tips for brides to be: get everything squared away and handed off so you have as few responsibilities as possible the day of, because once it starts rolling, it's a delightfully intoxicating whirlwind on one incredible moment right after another. It goes so fast, you barely have time to register what is going on. Be in the moment and enjoy. I was lucky that the only time I got nervous was while I was in the dressing room, and that faded as soon as Andrew and I were face to face in front of Rev. Morrison. Then I just couldn't stop crying - a totally different problem.

How did it all turn out? Not everything went as I expected, but as a whole, it was great. Andrew and I had so much fun, and a number of our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to or something to that extent, which was absolutely music to our ears.

If you are like me - who wasn't always that convinced about the whole "wedding thing" - I gotta tell you that it's really worth it. To spend one day affirming and celebrating the love between you and your partner, sharing that with your closest family and friends, (not to mention sharing good music, food and drink) could you go wrong?

The Reading: Kahlil Gibran

Photo courtesy of ???

This is Rupa and I. Rupa read the following from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran for the ceremony:

Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

The Processional

The song we choose as the processional, was a Bolero performed by Trio Hermanos Estrada entitled "Novia Mía". It was originally composed by Zacarias Ferreiras. Here are the lyrics:

Esta novia mía, va a ser mi tormento

de noche y de día, no sé lo que siento.

Cara tan bonita,

cara tan bonita va ser mi tormento.

Novia mía, novia mía, cascabel de plata y oro

tienes que ser mi mujer, novia mía, novia mía,

por tu cara de azucena, mucho te voy a querer

Por llevarte a los altares, cantaré con alegría

que sin ti no quiero a nadie

novia mía, novia mía,

novia mía, novia mía.

The Ceremony

Photo courtesy of PurpleFlor Photography.

I realize that our guests may like to know what exactly our ceremony consisted of, since I was barely able to whisper my vows loud enough for Andrew to hear them. So here's a transcription of our ceremony:

(Processional played by trio.)

Greeting by Rev. Morrison:

We come together this beautiful fall afternoon to share in the celebration of marriage of Andrew David Haberbosch and Eva Karene Romero. family and friends, we gather in faithfulness to offer our promise to be helpful and supportive of the commitment they make today. And we come to share in the joy of the way their friendship has deepened into a promise to spend their lives together.

Both families are here to give their blessing to this marriage. And friends have an important role in helping their love endure. Today we have this candle as a remembrance of Andrew's father David and stepfather Douglas who are here in spirit. Family and friends, give them your prayers, your words of encouragement, as we affirm our belief in love and commitment.

Questions of intention:

Do you, Andrew/Eva take Eva/Andrew to be the husband/wife of your days, to love and to cherish, to honor and to comfort, in sorrow or in joy, in hardship and in ease, to have and to hold from this day forth?

(We did.)

This marriage touches each one of us. A new family is established in our midst. Do you, who are family and friends, affirm your continuing support and love to Andrew and Eva as they grow and deepen in this marriage?

(They did.)

(Rupa and Chick signed the marriage certificate.)


God, you are creator of life and love, you have given Eva and Andrew the grace and gift of marriage. Be with them now in their life, and fill their days with wisdom and joy and abundant life. May the love these two have found grow in meaning and strength until its beauty is shown in a common devotion to all that is compassionate and life giving. May the spirit of your love help brighten the face of the earth. May the source of all love touch and bless us and grace our lives with color and courage. Amen.

Reading of "On Marriage" by Kahlil Gibran delivered by Rupa Shenoy.


This is a happy and holy moment, and your marriage will be the most sacred and treasured part of your lives. It is a celebration of all the mystery and wonder that deep love can bring to living. Andrew and Eva, you speak of having companionship and also respect for each others individuality. I ask you to remain loyal to these qualities. I remind you to re-choose each other every day. And I remind you of the responsibility of keeping alive this relationship: to maintain the capacity for wonder, for spontaneity, for humor. To remain flexible and warm and sensitive. Give fully to each other, show your real feelings to each other. Save time every day for each other. And as you grow in loving each other more fully, may you discover out of this love a love for all creation in which the mystery of your love has happened.


In the name of God, I Eva/Andrew take you, Andrew/Eva to be my husband/wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.

Presentation of Rings:

Your wedding rings serve as a symbol of the promise you have made to each other. It is the symbol of your hearts bound together. It is the finest of earth's metals, just as your love is the richest of spiritual values. AS this ring has no seam or edge, has no beginning or end, so it symbolizes your eternal love.

Ring Vows:

Eva: In token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love, with this ring, I thee wed.
Andrew: May it keep you ever in my heart and mind when we are absent from each other.
Andrew: In token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love, with this ring, I thee wed.
Eva: May it keep you ever in my heart and mind when we are absent from each other.

Announcement of Marriage:

Andrew and Eva, you have said your vows, you have given and recieved rings as the symbol of your love. We have all witnessed your commitment. You are now married, and you may kiss as husband and wife.

(We kissed.)


We rejoice with you in this deepening of your relationship. We joyfully and willingly promise to uphold you in your life together, with our friendship, love and prayers. Let your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to the community of your family and friends and the wider circle of the world.

I present to you Andrew and Eva, husband and wife!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Food

Photo courtesy of PurpleFlor Photography.

Although we kept most elements simple, when it comes to food, Andrew and I both like some flare, some adventure, some drama, if you will. Here's our menu. Buen provecho!

Appetizers (pictured above)
- Red Chili Beef Tamales
- Goat cheese & cranberry croustini
- Roasted pork on polenta

Salad: Greens w/ queso fresco, grilled jicama, pomegranate seeds & prickly pear vinaigrette

- Roasted red pepper coulis & vegetable stuffed relleno w/ black bean cake
- Tortilla crusted chicken served w/Oaxaca rice and brocollini w/goat cheese cream sauce
- Sea bass w/chimichurri sauce served w/roasted Peruvian purple potatoes gratin & sauteed spinach w/red chili buerre blanc

The Bachelorette Party

My neighbors and awesome friends, Liz and Andrea, took it upon themselves to throw me a Bachelorette Party. They did a great job planning an elaborate event and keeping all the details completely quiet.

When I saw Andrea's front door dressed in a pink sheet masterfully folded like a gigantic vagina, I knew the party was going to be good fun. (Luckily, I didn't have to penetrate it to get in.)

From the penis-shaped cookies to the "erotic" posters - the ambiance was perfect. The scene was set for raunchy sex jokes - my favorite kind. After showering me with all kinds of gifts and margaritas, we went to IBT's. I hadn't been dancing at a club in forever.

Honestly, it was the best Bachelorette Party a girl could want. I'm still reeling from all the love...and my hangover.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Derrida

Why do I include so many details in my wedding blog? Because I honestly wish someone as cool as me had posted a Tucson wedding blog so that I could've had some idea where to start!

But seriously, during my research, sometimes it seemed like the overwhelming majority of on-line wedding resources were out there just to capitalize on brides (and increasingly more grooms) through the wedding industry. But you can have an incredible wedding without everything they say you need!

What I'm really trying to stress here is that when I first started thinking about a wedding, I was worried it would be completely unaffordable, or impossible to get people to go along with because of our desires to break with tradition in certain ways. I just want to tell people that there are always alternatives, and provide examples for brides-to-be, who like myself, may want to imagine a wedding that's less like a television show or a bridal magazine and more like...well, real life.

I've been studying for a literary theory midterm. It turns out that this is the most Derrida post of my wedding blog. Derrida (pictured above, courtesy has a term called differance: the process of everything being present but absent. Every concept has it's opposite to which it is linked in our minds: hot/cold, young/old, fast/slow. So even when you are thinking of hot, you are recalling the concept of cold in the background because you only really know what hot is because you can compare it to cold.

So now, in order to illustrate how paired down we have actually been able to keep our wedding production, I am going to tell you what elements we left OUT:

1. About 240 guests. On one hand, I wish I could've invited everyone I know. The thing is, it's not practical. On the other hand, I'm pleased that we're going to have an intimate ceremony witnessed by a group of people who love us so well.

2. A wedding planner. Try a Word document!

3. A wedding party. No groomsmen, bridesmaids or attendants. I know this isn't for everyone, but it's the Paraguayan way.

4. A traditional bridal registry. We asked for help paying for the wedding instead, because a debt-free wedding is the best gift ever.

5. Paper invitations and RSVP cards. Welcome to the digital age.

6. Lingerie. No comment.

7. Florists. Paper flowers provided by Maira, Maisa, Andrea, Zule, Liz, and Lucy.

8. Certain accessories. No veil, tiara, gloves, etc. What is it the kids are saying these days? Oh right, KISS: "Keep It Simple, Stupid".

The Marriage License

"The nuclear family does not have a transcendent ennobling power. The fact that ideology and the ideology of marriage have developed in the West since the English revolution of the seventhenth century has something like a relationship to the rise of meritocratic individualism." - Gayatri Spivak

The law is that when you fill out the affidavit for marriage at the courthouse, they make the official State of Arizona Marriage Handbook available to you. It includes sections such as "Aggressive Confrontation", "Coping with Family Challenges", "Walking Rocky Roads", "Being Safe During a Violent Outburst" and "Ending a Marriage".

Perhaps because of it's foreboding table of contents, on page two it reads:

"This handbook supports your decision to get married!...Marriage is a crucial cornerstone of society. It should provide a lifetime of happiness...Marriage is a crucial cornerstone of society"

I didn't cite that wrong. It's really written that way.

The fact of the matter is, this society loves the institution of marriage, even despite the fact that the divorce rate in the U.S. is between 40% and 50%. Why was everyone so happy about our engagement and now, our wedding? My extended circle of friends and acquaintances never emailed me so promptly - not even when I got into grad school! Why is that even the State of Arizona, who doesn't know me or Andrew, is "supportive of our decision to marry"?

If "marriage is a crucial cornerstone of society", then is it a garnet, an emerald, or a cubic zirconium?

I guess I'm still thinking about what functionality marriage has in society at large. As for me, the only reason why I'm getting married is so that I can quote Roberta Flack to Andrew on October 27th: "Tonight, I celebrate my love for you."

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Hotels

This is a pic of Andrew's last drink as a bachelor. He's at the Tap Room at Hotel Congress (taken by Jose -

We decided to suggest Hotel Congress and the Marriott to our out of town guests. They both have great, central locations while Congress caters to young adults looking for historic character, nightlife and eclectic Tucson flavor (not sleep) and Marriott is better suited for people (with kids especially) seeking comfort, service and privacy.

Andrew and I booked a room at Congress for our wedding night. Turns out, that was also the night of Club Congress's huge annual Halloween party, which was also our post-wedding after hours party. No, we didn't get a prize for best costumes, but The Three Amigas were awesome.

The Cake

I really didn't care about the cake, but I still managed to go through four bakeries before choosing one. I think that speaks volumes of Maribelle Cakery (and also volumes of my neurotic perfectionism).

First we checked out a French bakery called La Baguette upon recommendation of Kate and Ray. At that point I didn't even know what chocolate ganache was and I was utterly confused by their cake selections. I couldn't handle it, so I put off the cake thing for a while.

After we watched a few cake specials on the Food Network, I recovered my valor and went back into the world of cakes. We went to Le Cave's because I had heard they do a great tres leches cake, but Pura Vida's was better (they are closed now). In Le Cave's defense, however, it is the home of the original vegetable glazed donut. I'm not sure what that means, but I do enjoy their donuts...mmm...donuts...

Thanks fo my friend and neighbor Liz, I went to Maribelle Cakery. What really won me over about Maribelle was that they do tastings right! You go in, sit down, they have several plates of samples that are clearly labeled. They make it easy. They leave you alone, you have some time to think and taste, read the brochure...and before you know it, the plates are clean. Just pay attention to which plate you cleaned first: there's your cake. Andrew and I knew we had to have more of the orange butter cake with strawberry cream cheese filling. To quote Maribelle: "Simplicity and elegance...a tasteful choice!"

For cake decoration we wanted to echo our general decorating theme, so each tier has multicolored papel picado done in icing, and is topped by a Dia de los Muertos bride and groom (that we bought at La Cucaracha de Tubac...We thought it would be a nice touch given the closeness of our wedding to Dia de los Muertos and Halloween.)

The Photography

Purpleflor Photography (photo above - our brother in law's work) did the photography - which I am pleased about - but it was still a hard reality to face. What do you mean I can't photograph my own wedding?? I prefer being behind the lens to in front of it. (See my little exhibit at Espresso Art).

Even so, I'm glad that Jose did our photography because not only do I like his work, but I also because I like that he's family. I'm happy that we involved so many of our people - Andrew's aunt sent us papel picado from Mexico, my sister and her boyfriend hung it, my colleague deejayed, etc. Plus I just like knowing that I can trust the people I'm working with.

The Hair and Makeup

In the beginning I felt opposed to getting my hair and makeup professionally done, but after much contemplation and phone conversations with my best friend, Rupa, I decided to go ahead and do it. The only place I could think of was Elements in Balance. (I would've gone to Coyote, my regular spot, but they don't offer makeup or nails services). I told Jessica from Elements (see her makeup work in the photo above) that I felt really nervous looking "over done" but she assuaged my fears and promised I'd have exactly what I wanted.

I'll spare you all the details of what has gone into the hair and makeup trials, but I must say that I made the right decision. Have I spent too much money on Aveda products? Probably. But what the heck. (Thanks for paying for it, Mom!) And yes, my skin looks better than ever. Plus I love my new make-up brush, and this from a girl who barely wears makeup.

Postdata: The hair and make-up looked so good the day of! Everything turned out beautiful and stress-free when it came down to the final hour. Definitely the right decision. Here's a big shout out to Jessica (make-up) and Bridgette (hair)!

The "Rehearsal" Dinner

We had the "Rehearsal" Dinner at El Parador. I love their "Tropical Garden" motif and it's a significant venue for me as a staple of Spanish Department nightlife.

There was nothing really to rehearse, since we didn't have a wedding party, but it was be a good way to spend some special time with our family who have flew in. It will the first time our moms met. I was suprised that they didn't have some sort of secret handshake. (Yes, they are both Lutheran, Midwestern social workers. Weird, I know.)

I thank Ryan for that shot of Patron.

The Officiant and our New Church (???)

This is our baby/dog being baptized/blessed by Rev. Lee Morrison at Saint Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. Lee Morrison is the Spiritual Director of the church and the officiant of our upcoming wedding.

We started going to this church a few months ago, basically looking for an officiant. Andrew and I both come from a Lutheran background but don't feel especially churchy for what I guess are the regular reasons. That doesn't mean we've completely abandoned spirituality, though. Au contraire. (His mom calls us "Neo-Lutherans".)

When we went to Saint Francis and heard Rev. David Wilkinson speak for the first time, I was hooked for several reasons, but mostly because he worked "postmodernism" into the commentary. With articles like "St. Francis UMC of Tucson: Strange Theology Unrecognizable to Most Christian UMs" floating around the internet, I should have known I was going to love it.

It's a ministry based on inclusiveness, fragmentation, diversity and openness while at the same time being committed to unity and social justice - well, why don't you just read the mission statement.

There are basically three reasons why Andrew and I (I think I speak for both of us) find ourselves doing something we didn't foresee: going to church regularly.

1) This is a church that accepts that there are as many different paths to God as there are people. Until now, I had never been to any other church that isn't out to prove that theirs is the only true path or theirs the only true religion.

2) This is a church that was founded on the importance of breaking down church power hierarchy by giving members an active, leadership role. During the "sermon" we aren't passive receivers of the message, but rather are passed a microphone and encouraged to make the moment a two-way dialog by sharing our thoughts and feelings. Granted, this doesn't mean the power is totally balanced, but it is a happy medium for those who still feel most comfortable with a semi-traditional service set up. Not to mention, in my case, my relationship with "God" has been mostly intimate and private - much easier to blog about it than to speak about it in front of a congregation!

Speaking of power hierarchies, this church is very careful about removing as much of that turn-off language as they can. The reason why I didn't follow through with confirmation in the Lutheran church when I was a teenager? The handbook was so loaded with patriarchal language and ideology from page one that I basically gagged. (For more on this, check out this Arizona Daily Star article: "'Lord' is fading at some churches"

3) Every Sunday we've been to Saint Francis so far, Andrew and I come out feeling emotionally moved and intellectually challenged. Every time we feel the message is relevant to our lives - and frequently to something we've been discussing that same week. We walk out with a lot to talk about.

I'm not saying that I know much about the congregation yet or that I think the leaders are flawless or that the theology is way. That would be dangerous to think or say. But I do believe that we all have a spiritual appetite that we need to feed to stay healthy. There are many ways to satisfy one's spirit, and St. Francis is one of those worth trying.

La Musica

At first we wanted Mariachis; I particularly wanted an all-female thirty piece Mariachi band clad in pink like I saw open a Lila Downs concert, but alas, we couldn't afford that.

We took our time eating and drinking repeatedly at Guadalajara Grill (good), La Fuente (mediocre), and Las Casuelitas (just had the flan, but it was awesome). We loved Mariachi Saldivar, but we also heard Mariachi Mixteca, which wasn't bad, but not our thing. I have one key song that I use to judge how I like a Mariachi band, and it's "No Volvere". We had a trio - Trio Hermanos Estrada - play it one night at La Fuente, just for kicks. They blew it out of the water. I didn't even know I wanted a trio until I heard them.

We took their card and bought their CD "Gran Amigo El Rey" dedicated to the memory of their dear friend who had died of cancer. In the liner notes it begins, "About fifteen years ago, we were fortunate to meet Mark Capin, who was accompanied by a beautiful woman, for whom he asked us to play several songs. A few days later he requested more songs, but this time they were for another beautiful woman...and then another...and another..." Sexist, I know. But how quickly that little liner note pulls you into the story of these characters: a womanizing southwestern cowboy and three Mexican musicians!

Needless to say, the CD sounds as good as they do live. We met the trio later at Guadalajara Grill, and decided on "Novia Mia" as the "wedding march". It will be surreal having them playing for us at our wedding.

After the trio goes home, the DJ starts heating it up! Andrew and I have actually already mixed an eclectic four hours of music,(everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Chemical Brothers), but we'll be sure to carve a slot for DJ Cresencio to bust out his Latin beats. When I was a clueless first semester graduate student three years ago, I would have never guessed the same grad student who was coaching me through day one would be deejaying my wedding one day! (I was so confused I kept referring to him as Constancio.) Thanks so much Cresencio and Jose!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Music From Our Youth

Thank God for the internet! Now I can include all these classics from our youth in Paraguay for the wedding playlist!

Here's my complete list so far:

La Lambada - Kaoma
Ritmo de la noche – The Sacados
Mil Horas – The Sacados
Sabes Mi Numero - The Sacados
No le dijo nada - Los Ladrones Sueltos
La rubia del avion – Los Ladrones Sueltos
Bye Bye - Villa Palma e Vampiros
La Pachanga - Villa Palma e Vampiros
Vamos a la playa - Righeira
Sopa de Caracol - Banda Blanca
Que Te La Pongo - Garibaldi
Locomia - Locomia
Rumba Samba Mambo - Locomia
Loco Vox - Locomia
Ven, Devorame Otra Vez - Azucar Moreno
Solo se Vive una Vez - Azucar Moreno
Muevelo - El General
Te Ves Buena - El General
La danza de la botella - Joe Luciano
Lanza Perfume - Rita Lee
El pozo ciego - Fabulosos Cadillacs
Musica Ligera - Soda Stereo
Lamento Boliviano - Enanitos Verdes
Amigos - Enanitos Verdes

Let me know if you can think of any others, guayos....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Invitations and The Website

If you're interested in how we did the invitations, Andrew created them on Macromedia Fireworks. We made them JPGs and attached them to emails to our guests, including a link to the website which Andrew also designed, Pretty neat, huh?

The Eco-Friendly Wedding?

This is a photo of the view from the reception site. It reveals the gorgeous wild landscape of the Tucson foothills. Will our wedding be a force of preservation or destruction?

My dear friend Rupa sends me articles about wedding industry trends, which I am obviously interested in analyzing at this time. (See websites like for more.) The other day she sent me a link to a story from the Washington Post called "Wedded to Green" and awesomely enough, our wedding plans scored pretty well on the green scale - at first glance. Then I realized that on a larger scale, maybe not.

While some brides and grooms are using hybrid cars instead of Hummer limos, we're getting shuttles to move all our guests together and at once, cutting back on petrol use, the temptation to drive drunk and the potential for getting lost on unfamiliar roads. That said, 80% of our guests are flying in, which probably trumps any resources that we're saving otherwise.

In the paper department, we may not have printed invitations with soy ink on paper made of 100 percent post-consumer waste, but we did better, I think, by dumping the traditional invitations and mailed response cards completely. We used e-mail invites and RSVPs.

Some couples ask retailers not to wrap gifts in yards of paper and ribbons that will just be thrown away; our gifts will require nearly zero packaging, being that our gift registry basically states "send money!". We totally saved ourselves the guilt of whatever unsavory impacts certain retailers may be having on the environment, or society for that matter. However, we still could've done better, like the couple who invited their guests to donate to a small foundation they established to help children in Zambia.

While many couples now ask where flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces are coming from and whether they have been organically grown using fair-trade practices, these are not concerns of ours. We're using traditional Mexican hand crafted paper flowers - which last much longer!

In terms of what I'm doing to encourage fair trade, my dress, jewelry and the favors were hand made by Paraguayan folk artists who were justly compensated by me in dollars. (That said, I still saved a bundle.)

I sadly admit, however, that I cannot ensure that all the food that will be served is locally grown or organic, and as of now I am not sure how the trash is going to be recycled.

Although the Washington Post article quotes Rebecca Mead saying "Sure, it's easier to be green when you're affluent," she also agrees that the most ecologically sensitive way to throw a wedding is to have a small one. I think I've demonstrated right here how a couple can be cheap AND green! But seriously, if a couple truly wants to be green, my vote is commit to simplicity and small numbers.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Theme: A Tucson - Paraguay Wedding

Photo courtesy of PurpleFlor Photography.

Tucson has truly become our home. We appreciate its border culture, Mexican influence and sharing it with everyone who visits us. We want to incorporate that specific Tucson flavor by showcasing the landscape; using papel picado and paper flowers in the decor; and featuring a local mariachi band. The decor of the Saddlebrooke Clubhouse, (where we will be having the reception) is traditional southwest with the necessary dose of cowboy.

My dress, accessories and the wedding favors on the other hand, have all been hand-crafted in the folk art tradition of Paraguay.

The Location for the Ceremony

“The church and the home are the two most sacred places in our lives,” I read in a book on weddings. The Jewish wedding ceremony uses a huppah (canopy) that is symbolic of the couple’s new home. That's part of the reason why we chose the home of Kate and Ray Frank for our wedding ceremony. It is a home, and one that is already so meaningful to us. Kate and Ray are our Tucson mom and dad. (The day I met Kate - in Milwaukee, weird!- she gave me a copy of Clarissa Pinkola Estes's Women who Run with Wolves right off her bookshelf. How cool is that???) Their home is also symbolic of our life together, since when Andrew and I moved to Tucson, after having dated long distance between Milwaukee and Chicago, the first place we stayed was at Kate and Ray’s. In fact, Kate and Ray encouraged us to get married from the first time they met me, I think!

When Andrew agreed to move to Tucson with me so I could go to grad school, I understood the magnitude of his risk and sacrifice. The gesture and commitment that he made to show me his love in fact only furthered the idea that he would make a good husband! (And he’s handy, too.)

We also chose Kate and Ray’s because of its position in the foothills. Andrew and I being flatlanders, the Tucson foothills really move us. To me, being in and around those peaks is the most spiritual experience. When I hike in those heights to pray and meditate, I hear the wind blowing and my heart beating, the sun glowing in the rocky faces and the huge, blue, Arizona sky. I feel the near and magnificent presence of God.

This is a photo of the view from Kate and Ray's at dusk.

The Jewelry

I decided to keep with the folk art that honors my Paraguayan heritage in the jewelry as well as the dress. My dear friend Belen and I hopped a bus to Luque, where they have traditionally hand-worked silver filigree for generations. She helped me find the necklace and earrings I purchased for the big day. The intricate design goes well with the elaborate patterns of the dress and the ring.

The Dress

Funnily enough, before I did any other planning for the wedding I got the dress. I went to Paraguay to study Guarani last year and decided it was the perfect time to take advantage of the high quality, inexpensive hand tailoring Asunción has to offer. I asked around and everyone told me the same thing: if you want to have a special wedding dress made just for you, go to Cecilia Fadul.

Cecilia is possibly Paraguay's most popular designer. She specializes in folk chic - which was exactly what I had in mind. I took her my ideas and she really made them come to life beyond anything I could have possibly expected. It's totally me! She and her seamstresses crafted the dress in under a month and for WELL under the price a bride would buy a designer dress in the United States. They incorporated the ñandutí details perfectly, which you can see a little blurry bit of in this picture, but no more sneak peeks for you!

The Ring

Of course, every proposal involves a ring. The ring Andrew gave to me has a very special history. It belonged to his great aunt. She was from a well-to-do family that lived in a rural area, and her father didn't want her dating any of the local boys who he considered unworthy of his refined child. To keep her and her sister from feeling like they were "missing out", he showered them with special gifts, including a diamond ring for each of them. (Andrew's brother, Chris, used the other one to propose to his wife, Jen.) I think it is interesting that neither of Andrew's great aunts ever married, but both of their rings are now wedding rings.

This image really doesn't do the ring justice. It is an eighteen karat, white gold ring of hand construction; fauna design. It contains an Old European Cut diamond and is of highly desirable clarity and color. We actually didn't know any of this until we went to have it appraised. It was like going to Antiques Road Show - very fun! It turns out that Old European Cut was hand-faceted and is no longer done. Its method has been replaced by later technology and now is usually seen only in rings from the 1870s through the 1930s. I really had my reservations about diamond rings in general - I've seen brides-to-be trying to outdo each other with the biggest rock - but when Andrew pulled this ring out of his pocket I knew it was perfect for me.

The Proposal

So where do we begin? We could start back on the day that Andrew and I first met, or when we started dating a few years later or even when we decided to move to Tucson together, but to keep it simple, I think this blog should begin with The Proposal. Truth be told, we talked about getting married before The Proposal, so the question wasn't a surprise, but the method sure was! A helicopter ride over Tucson and the surrounding area was totally unexpected and a thrill for both of us.