Why Marriage?

Today marks the one-year anniversary of our engagement. She didn’t wine and dine me and get down on bended knee to ask for my hand in marriage. No, it was a sunny Saturday morning that we were lucky enough to be spending together with a wide open summer day ahead of us. She made pancakes with fruit, and then asked if she could sing me something that she had been working on.

I was excited to finally hear some of the results of her recent guitar lessons, and completely taken by surprise when she asked me to marry her, in song. I said yes, of course, and we both cried, hugged, and laughed. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

photo by belle ancell

In 5 weeks I will marry my best friend, my lover, and partner for life. I’d like to share this poem that so perfectly expresses my feelings on why I have chosen to get married.

Why Marriage?

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body.
Because I want a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
who won’t hold them against me, who loves me when I’m unlikable,
who sees the small child in me, and looks for the Divine potential of me …
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful,
with someone I feel blessed to hold …
Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love, in friendship …
Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility
for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness …
As I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
As together we create our marriage …
Because with this understanding, the possibilities are limitless …

-Mari Nichols

A year ago I said yes, and in 37 days I’ll say I do. Thank you, my love, for waiting for me when I was unavailable, for your unconditional love, and for believing I am worthy to be your wife.


Taken care of

This past weekend I went away on a weekend tour. I perform professionally, playing piano and singing Jazz as well as my own Soul/Pop songs. I live in Vancouver, BC, and I was traveling to Vancouver Island, playing three shows Thursday – Sunday. (side note: my gigs went really well and I had a great time)

A little backstory: in September 2008, my fiancée and I had been seeing each other for all of one week before I embarked on my first tour. I was promoting my new CD release, and covering 12 cities in three provinces over two and a half weeks. Much to my surprise, she couriered a care package to my Calgary, AB, venue- with snacks, a love note, and some cute boxers to sleep in. No one had ever done something like that for me; it was such a sweet and romantic gesture.

Ever since then, she has always prepared a care package for me when I’m going away on tour without her. Somehow, this has not become something I take for granted, or something I expect. So while I wasn’t exactly surprised when I saw this on the table waiting for me when I got up last Thursday morning, I was still blown away by its grandness. It was a care package on an epic scale:

My favourite rice chips,
Sesame roasted seaweed snacks,
Clementine oranges,
Homemade granola bars and chocolate chip peanut butter cookies,
Orange mango juice boxes
Ginger candies and bags of Licorice tea (for my throat)
Three fruit and nut bars,
and yes, a love note in a cute teddy bear card.

Seriously! I know I am the luckiest (spoiled, maybe?) girl in the world.

So, even though I prefer it when she can actually come with me on tour, these care packages kind of make up for it. Although no granola bar will sell my CDs for me. 😉

What kind of romantic gestures does your lover do on a regular basis? Or what do YOU do for them?

Keeping romance alive

What I hear over and over again from newlywed brides is that try as they might, the months leading up to the wedding were some of the most stressful in their lives; putting strain on their relationships and not letting them ‘enjoy the ride’ to the altar, so to speak. Many of those woman, wiser now, advise us fledglings to not sweat the small stuff, give the wedding obsession a break now and again, don’t freak out on family and friends and damage those relationships, and remember to make quality time for you and your fiance to keep the love burning.

Since I know that I have stress-ball tendencies, I wanted to take all that advice to heart and ensure that we remained as happy and blissfully in love along the nuptial road as we were the day we got engaged. (sigh) Easier said than done.

For a little insight into our lives, we are both university students going to school full-time and working part-time. As you can imagine, this 6-day-a-week schedule is pretty hectic, and on its own could cause duress on an individual and a couple. Add in all the extra hours that go into planning your own wedding plus the unexpected things that life throws your way, and I was getting fairly uptight.

Last week, on an ordinary Tuesday morning, I was surprised by a delivery of flowers at the office where I’m interning. To my delight, my fiance had sent it, just because, with a little note saying “From the one who loves you most, I’m so proud of you!”

She said it was a multi-functional gift: to celebrate a recent accomplishment in my performing career, to congratulate me on landing the internship I wanted for my next semester, and in sympathy for my Grandfather recently passing away. “And also just to remind you how much I love you.”

I was so moved by her gesture, as I often am by her generosity and kindness. Not to brag, but my girl really raises the bar when it comes to romance and considerate actions every day. In the three and a half years that we have been together, I have been her willing pupil as she has trained me in how to express love and care in a very tangible, and consistent, way.

For instance, last winter I was working a receptionist job that I hated. Not a morning person at the best of times, I was such a grouch being forced to get up at 6 am to go to that horrible place. Every day she would bring me tea, wake me with kisses, and have my lunch made for me. And every day, there was a little love note inside to brighten my mood. Really, who does that?! 🙂

“In April we’ll be finished school and start working and everything will be different” has become a sort of mantra in our household, repeated to bring comfort that positive change is on its way. Sadly, it’s too easy to get caught up in all your to-dos and deadlines and busy schedule that we forget to take a moment to acknowledge our loved ones and let them know how much they mean to us.

I haven’t got a love note in my lunch for a while, mainly because I’ve been making my own. But yesterday morning I woke up to this on the kitchen counter:

It’s little things like this that keep the romance alive. No matter how obsessed or stressed I get with planning our wedding, I know she will be there to bring me back to reality and remember why we are doing this in the first place: if you like it, then you better put a ring on it. LOL! So true, Beyonce! And hey, have you noticed how her name rhymes with fiance? Hmmmm…

How are you and your hubby-to-be staying sane through the planning process? Share your cute, lovey-dovey stories!

This ain’t just a big party, it’s a life decision

So last night I finished one of my wedding guide books (mentioned in a previous post) and the final chapter was about after the wedding, the marriage. It suddenly really hit me. I’m not just planning a big, fabulous party for my closest family and friends, I’m planning to spend the rest of my LIFE with this person!

I guess I’ve been so caught up in “wedding” that I haven’t given much thought to the “marriage”. Not that I’m having second thoughts or anything, not at all, but the weight of this decision to marry has only now really sunk in.

Let’s face it, your wedding day is really just one out 365 in a year, right? Yes, it’s your BIG DAY, but it has 24 hours in it just like every other day, and the only thing that changes is at the end of it, you’re legally married. A wedding lasts a few hours whereas a marriage, we all hope, lasts a lifetime.

I have never felt completely committed to anyone that I’ve been in a long term relationship with. I tried to, but some little part of me always had “one foot out the door” so to speak. For many years in my twenties, I thought I’d never get married, I never wanted to “settle down”. Looking back, I think I just didn’t want to settle. And I’m glad I didn’t.

I guess this is my first case of pre-wedding jitters. I think my self-confidence gets in the way sometimes; can I trust that I will continue to be a good partner? Or worry, that familiar friend. What if it doesn’t work out, what if we fall out of love, what if we get a divorce?

Well, what if? Will I let my doubts get in the way of true love? NO WAY! Even if we part ways at some point, will it all have been worth it? Heck, YES!

I’m prepared to plan the most fabulous wedding I can, but from here on out I’m going to try to not forget what I’m doing all this for- to marry my lover and best friend.

Do you think everyone gets some pre-wedding jitters?

In the beginning

Our proposal story:

We always love it when we can sleep in on the weekend, make a nice breakfast and relax. This particular Saturday in June happened just like that, with my girlfriend making delicious pancakes, and us having the time to enjoy the sunny morning.

Around 10:30 or 11am, she asked if she could play me a song on the guitar that she’d been working on. I knew she had been taking lessons again, and I was very proud of her for learning the instrument. She was clearly very nervous, but I thought it was because she had never really sung a song for me!

I listened attentively as she timidly started to strum and sing. After the first verse, I politely asked her to sing louder, since I wanted to hear the words. I didn’t recognize the song, but it was clearly all about love. (she’s a die-hard romantic, so I wasn’t surprised)

Half-way through the song it started to dawn on me that this song was speaking about strong commitments, and at the end when she sang out my full name and asked “will you marry me?” I was already crying. I had hoped she would propose at some point (we had been hinting at it for a few months) but she had completely taken me by surprise.

Through my laughter and tears I of course said yes! Being a brat, I made her get on one knee and ask me again. I wanted to experience that little tradition! She had already given me a custom-designed silver “promise” ring last summer, so on this day she gave me a lovely silver necklace. The whole proposal was perfect- so beautiful and personal and a day we will never forget!

We are getting married this August on a big ferry-boat that’s been renovated into a banquet space, that is permanently docked in the waters of the Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver, BC. It will be an enchanted summer evening, with lots of whimsical and DIY touches. Our big, beautiful, Pagan, lesbian wedding!