Happy Secret Helicopter-versary to Me

Today is David’s and my 3-year secret helicopter-versary!

I know I mentioned just before Christmas that we were celebrating our 2-year wedding anniversary.  Well, we did, and it’s not really a “timey-wimey” thing, we just have two anniversaries because we had two weddings.

I would love to tell you all about it, since it’s a pretty cool story, but I already did, a year or so ago. That post is already so nicely laid out, with pictures and a thorough spell check, so if it’s okay by you, I’ll just share it with you again, and I’ll go enjoy my celebratory cupcake.

From February 17, 2013: “Tales of our Secret Wedding”

The game is up.

Last year, I got secretly married.

And yes, it was to David, my husband. Well, he wasn’t my husband then; he was still my fiancé. And yes, we did just have a beautiful family wedding in Augusta on December 22nd, a mere 8 weeks ago.

Augusta wedding 12/22/12

Augusta wedding 12/22/12

However, we also had a really awesome secret helicopter wedding almost a whole year before on January 26, 2012, known only to a few: our friend Dana (who performed the ceremony), his partner Troy, the helicopter pilot, and some random dudes we slipped up and told because we were so excited (read: buzzed).

In the know.

In the know.

So why a secret wedding, you ask?

Filling out the marriage license at Fulton County.  Nice, David, nice.

Filling out the marriage license at Fulton County. Nice, David, nice.

The simple answer: David was highly stressed that I didn’t have health insurance. My job back then didn’t provide any benefits and I’d had a recent scare with an infected tooth that landed me in the emergency room. Getting married was the easiest and least expensive way to get me on his policy at work.

We were already engaged and overwhelmingly excited about planning our dream wedding. We didn’t want to take away any of the fun for us or for our families. We just needed to satisfy a legal requirement so I could get reasonable coverage.

His initial plan was to go to a Justice of the Peace, quickly and quietly, with no fanfare.

I’m sorry, but have you met me?

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Have you met us?

As incredible it was to me that David loved me so much he couldn’t bear me not having insurance; I, in turn, just couldn’t see doing anything as wonderful as getting married to this man in a dreary government office. Even though it was only a formality, I couldn’t understand not glamming it up a little – after all, we waited a really long time to find each other and our entire history has been a string of magical moments.

This, of all things, should be fabulous.

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So why the helicopter?

What’s cooler than a helicopter?

For about the same cost as a Justice of the Peace (they are actually pretty expensive), I argued; we could get married on a helicopter!

"Hold my bouquet?"

“Nothing is cooler than a helicopter.” – James Bond

A few weeks prior, I ran across a Groupon for a helicopter tour of Atlanta and it planted the idea in my mind. I had wanted to take the flight with David as a romantic date, but what’s more romantic than getting married high in the sky?

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Still, why keep it a secret?

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Again, we didn’t want to take anything away from the celebration we were planning with our families. David’s Dad had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and our wedding was to be a glorious gathering of our nearest and dearest, with him as Best Man. Neither David nor I wanted to diminish any of his joy and excitement. Plus, our families, amazingly, adore each other, and everyone was flat out thrilled that they would be spending time together.

David and Dana!

David and Dana!

Happily, our dear friend Dana was delighted to get ordained on-line and perform the ceremony. In equally fortuitous circumstance, he had actually purchased the aforementioned Groupon for himself, hadn’t used it, and was willing to donate it to the cause!

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Even though we promised ourselves we wouldn’t go overboard planning, we still KAVIDed it out. I picked up flowers (lilies,hydrangea and roses) at Whole Foods, made boutonnières for David and Dana and a gorgeous white and green bouquet for myself, wrapped in satin ribbons and adorned with my Clann Ferguson kilt pin.

I also indulged my fantasy of a red wedding dress (swoon) and David and Dana broke out full Highland regalia, donning their kilts and Prince Charlies for the occasion.

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The day was a little grey silver, but calm and clear pre-flight.

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The pilot gave us an amazing tour of the city, heading east to circle the granite monolith of Stone Mountain, before cruising downtown as far as south as Turner Field, buzzing by the Sun Dial at the top of the Westin (ha! – had not one drop of prescience that I’d be working there six months later!) then circling back to the Old Fourth Ward, flying over my condo on the way to Midtown. At Piedmont Park, the site of our first date, we hovered over Lake Clara Meer for the ceremony.

Getting ready for vows and toasts!

Getting ready for vows and toasts!

We chose a lovely passage – short and poignant – for Dana to read:

Remember, anything beautiful that you have, came from God. In the beginning, God gave us our free will and our identity to walk this earth. Don’t ever try to change each other, because if you do, you will lose exactly what you fell in love with. So, each day try to find one more thing that is beautiful in your mate, and each day know that the next day will be more beautiful than the one before. As long as you are doing this, you are seeking beauty, joy, and love in each other.

"I do!"

“I, Kim, pledge to you, David, as my friend, my love, and my companion to love, honor, and cherish you as long as we both shall live”

I do!

“I, David, pledge to you, Kim, as my friend, my love, and my companion to love, honor, and cherish you as long as we both shall live.”

Just like that, we were married.

Man and wife.  And chopper.

Man and wife. And chopper.

And then the hard part: Trying to keep it a secret.

A complete mystery

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When I was a little kid, I was captivated by children’s mystery/adventure books. I inhaled every single Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and Hardy Boys book in existence. I flew through the slightly more obscure Trixie Beldon series and even dabbled with the Happy Hollisters. Oh, the capers I captured and the crimes I circumvented – if only vicariously in my wee girl brain. If you were an preteen detective (or family of detectives, or just got into mischief a lot) and could find it, fix it, uncover it or discover it, I was your avaricious and devoted fan.

(And can I begin to tell you how much I was in love with Jonny Quest?!)

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Therefore I draw upon my vast and intensive training as an adolescent gumshoe to completely justify my obsession with Googleing the answer to every single question that crosses my mind.

I am simply sleuthing. Old New school.

An Early Frost

Way back in 4th grade, we were asked to memorize a poem from our English book and recite it in front of the class. Being nine-years old and horse-mad, I chose Robert Frost’s “Stopping through the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” chiefly because he acknowledged his “little horse” and its thoughts about the change in journey.

Yeah, I know. Prepubescent girl-child logic.

The picture in my English book next to the poem looked a lot like this, which I thought was really cool and eerie and bewitching and added to my fascination.

The picture in my English book next to the poem looked a lot like this, which I thought was really cool and eerie and bewitching and added to my fascination.

In high school, a slightly older and wiser me stumbled upon Robert Frost’s poetry again and once more fell in love; this time not for visuals of patient ponies but for the lean and lovely lyricism of his words.

During one of those long, wonderfully ramble-y conversations I had with my husband when we first met, we talked about poetry and I remember rather shyly quoting my favorite of all Frost’s poems, “Fire and Ice.”

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A few months later, on my birthday, he surprised me with an original copy of the 1920 Christmas Edition Harper’s Magazine in which “Fire and Ice” was first published, in a shadow box frame he made himself.

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I remember being so blown away by the sweetness and thoughtfulness of the gesture. It brought to my mind the last lines of another of my favorite poems by Frost, “The Rose Family.”

The dear only knows
what will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

Blissed Out

I think it’s a picture post kind of day, so I’ll borrow a prompt from Photo 101.

Bliss: complete happiness, great joy, paradise, or heaven. What is your idea of bliss? Today, publish an image that represents bliss.

"Walzing"  to "Moon River"

Waltzing to “Moon River”

This photo was taken on our wedding day, back in December of 2012. The occasion was extra, amazingly special because we had our whole families there, including David’s Dad, who we lost shortly afterwards to cancer.

The whole evening was so glowingly glittery with love and happiness that I honestly thought I would bust.

I especially love the float-y quality of this picture, which of course was achieved with a filter, but actually pretty accurately represents the effervescent swirl of joy I was feeling.

It was, indeed, a damn good day.

NaBloPoMo Day 24: Just Another Manic Sunday…

Wow. Twenty-four days already. I can’t believe there’s less than a week left in NaBloPoMo.

I can’t say that it hasn’t been a hectic 3 weeks to try to cram writing into. I may have started this month’s blogging with a Lazy Sunday, but it’s certainly not ending on one, which kinda sucks. Lazy Sundays are brilliant and amazing and very far between.

This is a Manic Sunday, painfully truer to norm. And this one’s actually extra crazed due to the holiday next week. We’re spending Thanksgiving at the mountain house with my parents and David’s mom so there’s tons of stuff to do: groceries to buy, house and yard work to catch up on before we leave, a week’s full of errands and chores crammed into a day and a half.

First stops: Costco, Kroger and Publix to stock up on trip food and turkey-day goodies. We are not the only ones, apparently, with the same goal. Weaving in and out of the parking lot mayhem, battened by honking horns and snarling drivers we coin a new phrase: “Dial back the douchbaggery!” (or “Buddy, dial down the douche!” for short.)

Looks like everyonetting their Pilgrim on.

Everyone’s is getting their Pilgrim on.

The grocery stores, of course, are covered floor-to-ceiling with holiday food displays and mobbed wall-to-wall with people dragging small children, heaping carts full of cans, boxes, bags and bottles and dashing in and about the fray.

This is kinda scary.  It looks like a very angry butternut squash.

This is kinda scary. It looks like a very angry butternut squash that somehow barfed on itself. Which might be why it’s angry.

But also scary: the mile of frozen Butterballs.

Somehow equally scary: the mile of frozen Butterballs.

After a near miss with a careening buggy and some busted toes from an amok child, I withdrew from the chaos and busied myself window shopping in the wine aisle while David dervished his way through the deli and check out.

Meat Counter Madness

Meat Counter Madness

Finally! Groceries home and unloaded and David on to his next list, I was off to the loft and my own agenda. Fur kid comestibles from Petsmart, petrol for the car, some black tights for the work week. ::sigh:: Lots of stuff, little time.

However…my nail salon was just around the bend, so after filling up the car, I struck off on an impulsive mani-mission.

Got the claws trimmed! Wonderful iron grey polish with iridescent sparkles.  Probably not "brand" at work, but I'll keep a low profile and wear gloves coming in and out of the lobby.

Got the claws trimmed! Wonderful iron grey polish with iridescent sparkles.

Paws prettily polished, my heart was somewhat lightened. I jaunted back across town, singing along with the radio, hoping to find a little relaxation with the hubs while there was daylight left.

Finally a moment to enjoy the beautiful fall day.

Finally a moment to enjoy the beautiful fall day.

We’d been running since morning, with no time for breakfast and lunch, so trying to at least capture a fleeting feel of lazy Sunday, I surprised David with an early “Breakfast for Dinner,” with bacon, stone ground grits, scrambled eggs and mimosas to reward him for his afternoon victory in the on-going war against the leaves.

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Yum. Manic to start, but at least it’s meandering down to something more relaxing. Now for a little blogging to wrap up my week, maybe a movie and a cozy fire in the fireplace.

Here’s to a lovely Sunday to all of you.

Cheers!

Cheers!

NaBloPoMo Day 6: Phoning It In, Again

And again, dammit! The computer dieties are siding against me and my noble and notable goal of daily posting.

Either that, or I’m being my normal completely chaotic and haphazard self and you’re getting an insider look behind my scenes.

I had an amazingly awesome post for NaBloPoMo Day 6 that I’ve been working on for several days that I wanted to finish. Between working crazy late and leaving the power cable for my laptop unhandily all the way across town, I’m reduced to limping along on the I-Pad, also lamentably low on juice.

Better make this quick!

Ummmm, how about some pictures?

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We took a little break a couple of weeks ago to our favorite part of Florida, Rosemary Beach. On a whim, I talked David into taking our wedding duds with us.

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We grabbed our camera and tripod and had a little ” vogue – ish ” photo-shoot on the beach.

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We had a blast and took some pretty cool pictures. And yes, we’re still basking a bit in the glow from our wedding(s), so bear with us, we’re just having fun!

Through sickness and health…

David and I have been married for just over three weeks, and our vows have already been put to the test.

Nah, not the fidelity part.  Not even that bit about asset variance.  Our fledgling union, alas, has floundered for the first time upon the rocks of the Common Cold.

Once I got the news David was home, succumbed to the upper respiratory funk spreading about town, I sped straight from work to his bedside, armed with Theraflu, gingerale and the noble intentions of the newly wed.

I found him propped up in bed, dosing Mucinex, downing a batch of chicken soup he made himself and adjusting the lineup of his Netflix queue. He rejected my Theraflu “poison,” waved away the gingerale and informed me that he preferred to be left ALONE, to wallow in his sickness to heal on his own agenda. He had a game plan in place and was invoking historical self-reliance.

Yes, that’s right. Alone, as in without me. ::sniff:: That’s fine, then. After assuring myself he wasn’t actually anywhere near death, just inflicted with a mild case of grumpies, I went back to my condo for a “chillin’ with the cats” kinda weekend.

Passing the grocery store, I had a sudden inspiration! Soup! I’ll make soup!

I know, what a devoted, even heroic thing to do – to sacrifice my wounded sensibility to make my cranky husband a bowl of homemade soup to speed his recovery, even though he had rejected my Nightingale-esque efforts.

Yes, that would be pretty awesome, wouldn’t it? That is, if I were actually making it for David, and more notably, if David actually liked soup.

Truth is, he hates soup. Well, all soup but for his bachelor chicken man-soup. Oh, and that white bean and ham chowder our friend Randall made for Soup Swap last year.

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I, however, do like soup and do like it quite a bit.  Released to my own recognizance, I defiantly set to researching a soup recipe purely for personal enjoyment. Feeling just a tad scorned, I sought a soup chock full of nourishing, flu-fighting nutrients (that had David the option of partaking of it, assuredly would have restored him immediately) and yet a soup I knew David would loathe to the very fiber of its fiber, and never once let pass his lips, a soup he would hate on principles far beyond soupiness.  Cooked, cruciferous vegetables! Ha! Brightly colored tree fruits, mixed with cooked vegetables! Ha! Ha! Turmeric, garam masala and all those stinky Indian spices that are really good for you! Mwah, ha ha!

For I had, indeed, stumbled upon a recipe for Curried Cauliflower Apple soup found on Epicurious.com, chock full of health-enhancing ingredients. Of course, I put my own spin on it, yielding:

Delectably Delicious, Miraculously Healing Homemade Soup Not Even Slightly Made for My Undeserving Husband (a.k.a. Curried Cauliflower Apple Soup)
(serves one awesome wife, 3-4 times)

  • 1 small onion, chopped fine (natural antibiotic, shown to lower blood pressure)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced (natural antibiotic)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (contains turmeric – thought to enhance immune system, circumvent arthritis, alzheimers and heart disease)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (reported to fight bacteria, promote circulation and respiration)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Granny Smith or Honeycrisp Apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (studies indicate consumption of apples can prevent some forms of cancer, alzheimers and diabetes)
  • 4 cups cauliflower flowerets (high in Vitamin C and folate)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (renowned healing tonic of mothers and grandmothers world over)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • healthy pinch of cayenne (alleviates congestion and inflammation)

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In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan cook onion, garlic, and curry powder in butter over low heat, stirring for several minutes until the onion is softened.

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Add apples and ginger. Stir another minute.

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Add cauliflower and chicken broth. Cover pot and simmer until cauliflower is very tender about 20 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender (or food processor) until very smooth. (Word of advice, cover blender top with a kitchen towel to catch any molten soup exploding through blender lid!) Return pureed soup back to pan and reheat, adding half and half, salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste. 

Serve with a sense of accomplishment and a side of nyah, nyah, nyah, you sickie!

Delicious. I don’t know about him, but I’m feeling better already. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this marriage thing…

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BTW, talking of tonics, a little sip to accompany your culinary labors:

Cocktails to cook with: Winter Spice Sangria  I snagged a little of the apple I had diced for the soup, added a bit of diced Bosc pear and some of the freshly ground ginger. I muddled this with a dash of agave syrup, topped with red wine, ice and gingerale!

Cocktails to cook with: Winter Sangria
I snagged some of the apple I had diced for the soup, added a bit of cut up Bosc pear, freshly ground ginger, cardamom and black peppercorns to the bottom of a tall glass. I muddled this with a dash of agave syrup, then topped it with ice, a few ounces of red wine and a splash of gingerale. Truly restorative.