This is Thirty Days of Us

April 7, 2017

Dear Charla,

In one month we are getting married. This has been a long time coming, not just in the two years since we got engaged or the four years since we met. Perhaps it is a lifetime turning into the people we are, with all the the happys and the sads, to bring to our world and to our girls our best selves.

Since you once urged me to do more things like this that people reacted to so strongly, I was inspired to give you a wedding present that brings out a little of me which we have made into a little bit of us. Today I am starting “Thirty Days of Us”.

Every day for the next thirty days, I will post a new item about you, me, us or whatever occurs to me in the moment. It may be a poem, a brief story, an anecdote, a quote, or some combination of those things. You may want to come back to this section periodically.

On the thirtieth day, I will post the last one and that’s the day we get married. Hold onto the link to this page! This is Day One.


Day One

...and so then I told her, "I want to retire in Spain one day." Her eyes widened. It's a funny thing, meeting people. Meeting someone. When you're in the dating scene and let's face it: - no one wants to be in that scene, more

Day Two

I wandered up and down 2nd Street, exhausted. Fresh off a plane from a three-day work conference I just wanted to go to bed. Really. And yet And yet I agreed to meet her for a quick bite of dinner She was sympathetic at more

Day Three

"You mean you haven't met Snarla yet?" her mother asked me, incredulous. "I don't believe that Snarla exists," I said. Her mother gave me a look that said, just wait. My cockiness cleverly hid my fear. It seems that Charla doesn't do mornings well. Great, more

Day Four

She had a firepit in her old backyard, the kind that was a wide metal pan and sat on three legs. We frequently lit a fire at night under the huge shade tree with its gorgeous green leaves and roots that were cracking the more

Day Five

"You're the first person who has said that my eyes are green." "Of course they're green." "My driver's license says they're gray." "What does the State of Washington know anyway?" Part of getting to know someone, given enough time, includes the physical things that more

Day Six

We walked down the aisle, side by side. I spent weeks anticipating this moment and I could feel the rush of euphoria rising inside me. With rows of seats filled with people on either side, the aisle narrowed. It got so narrow that Charla more

Day Seven

One day after work I called her, hoping that we would see each other that day. We had just recently started dating for real. "I have to go for a run first," she said. "How long?" I asked. "Ten miles." I nearly dropped the more

Day Eight

Parc Güell sits near the top of a hill in a residential neighborhood where visitors can have a panoramic view of Barcelona when they are not looking at the fantastic and fantasy-like columns, statues and paths of this magical park itself. It was my more

Day Nine

I was sitting outside in my favorite spot, minding my own business. It was a nice summer day and I was lazy. "So....... I'm shooting a wedding in the fall," Charla began. "I was meeting with my clients talk about the ceremony and they more

Day Ten

It is not ironic at all that Charla the professional photographer hates being in front of the camera. So to help out - much to her chagrin - I do that job for her and snap a shot of her before she notices. My more

Day Eleven

The poet William Carlos Williams was known for a writing style that focused on imagery and rich description. His famous poem "This is Just to Say" found its way into many high school and college English classes (including mine): This is Just to Say I more

Day Twelve

To this day Charla's family does not know how I have survived the risky endeavor of waking her up in the morning and having some kind of conversation Honestly I'm not quite sure myself. Which didn't stop me when I outdid myself and sent more

Day Thirteen

"It's not just a wedding, it's a marriage," I was telling Mike as we sat at an outdoor cafe on a chilly night. Chilly for me anyway, with my Southern California-bred low tolerance for cold evening breezes. Mike, the pastor at our church, will more

Day Fourteen

Charla and I texted back and forth while I was at work, I think, and she was on a European trip with a group of her students. "This trip has really helped me mellow out," she texted. I was, at the time, stressing out more

Day Fifteen

"You need to be writing more! Look at this!" Charla said and pointed at comments on her photography blog. I had written a guest post and people replied that it made them cry or think deeply. One woman wrote her own story in a mini-post more

Día Dieciseís

Hay muchas cosas que nos une, a Charla y a mí. Por suerte tenemos mucho en común. Algo más en común es el español. Ella, maestra de español. Vivió en México y España. La ciudad de sus sueños es Granada, en el sur de España. Vivió more

Day Seventeen

The hilarity didn't stop this past weekend when my lifelong friends since high school showed up on my porch. Bachelor party? "Behave!" said Charla. She need not have worried. What we did more than anything is that we laughed so hard and so often more

Day Eighteen

A few summers ago I flew to Seattle. It was not my first visit to the PNW but it was the first time I visited Charla's family and friends up and down the Pacific Northwest. As a side bonus, I learned things I hadn't more

Day Nineteen

While I love the photo, it probably wasn't Charla's favorite moment. I am guessing this because she does not like to be cold. Or in the rain. Which would explain the bit about Seattle, as in wanting to live in a warmer climate. It more

Day Twenty

"I'm glad you're back home," I told Charla at 3am last night. She turned the light off, pulled my arm over her and tried to fall asleep. Three hours earlier she had walked off her 24-hour-late plane from Europe and staggered toward the baggage more

Day Twenty-One

"Good morning! Time to get up! Rise and shine! La la la la!" Another early morning, so early it's still gray outside because the sun hasn't come up yet. 6:30 a.m. Ugh. "Wakey wakey! It's a beautiful day!" Someone is crashing around the room, more

Day Twenty-Two

tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía, tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño. I found these lines today on a poem by Pablo Neruda, from his famous series of Love Sonnets, as I was rooting around in more

Day Twenty-Three

It may have been 6am, or 7am, I'm not entirely sure. I just knew that I was in trouble. "Why were my vitamins in the trash?" asked Charla. Uh oh. Laying in bed and wishing I was still asleep, I tried to piece it more

Day Twenty-Four

Our conversation at dinner included things like this: "I'm ready for the next adventure." "I've been stuck working in my little box for too long." "I want to go out and do more things outside of our house." "It's time to do more things, more

Day Twenty-Five

I've turned over the controversy in my mind many times and I just can't remember where the name came from. It seems slightly scandalous and yet is perfectly fitting. It takes an extra minute for Charla or I to explain it to someone, before more

Day Twenty-Six it turns out that last night's crack tacos were a hit. Our friends who came over loved them - never mind that I didn't do much: just a little meat, cheese, onions, whatever. But the meat was marinated carne asada from a tiny more

Day Twenty-Seven-and-a-Half

With the clock approaching midnight last night I was surrounded my friends at a work conference. The were both amused and annoyed at my announcements of the weather report in Santa Barbara every ten minutes. "The good news," I told a friend who lives more

Day Twenty-Eight

The text came into the my phone today from Carl, my best man, with a link to a Youtube video with the cheesy 1980s song "The Final Countdown". Pretty hilarious. The jewelers called today and said that my wedding ring was ready to pick more

Day Twenty-Nine

Close to midnight and the house smells like the wood fire we had going outside. People are asleep. The first round of family and friends were eating tacos and margaritas just in time for Cinco de Mayo and marking the beginning of the long more

The End of the Beginning

Today is Day 30. The rain came and went. There are more clouds than sky, however the presence of some blue sky is a promising sign. Last night, an epic gathering of two families and multiple friends scattered across two hotels, a few bars more