Five Year Anniversary: Does wood cutlery count?

When celebrating one’s five-year anniversary, tradition says that gifts should be paper or wood. “Wood represents strength solidity and warmth- are the traditional material on the fifth anniversary.” A modern gift is cutlery. Does wooden cutlery count? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. 

This past August 16th, we celebrated our five-year anniversary. I still can’t believe it’s been five years. It feels like yesterday when we were toasting the bubbly, smashing cupcakes in each other’s faces (I believe I started it), I was in the most expensive dress I ever owned (still own, and still the most expensive), and it was the one of the happiest (and most expensive) days of our lives.

My favorite photo from our wedding day.

My favorite photo from our wedding.

Due to some major life changes…ahem….me starting a new job at an awesome company, I had to start earlier than planned and gave up my month of vacation that we originally looking forward to. I say that like it’s a bad thing but really it’s not.  I actually started with three weeks paid vacation and there’s no accrual. I can’t believe I just typed that. I’m not gloating, bragging; okay maybe I am, in the tinniest sense. But, after working for my old company for nearly eight years just to get three weeks of vacation, this feels like a gift from God.

I digress. Gone is a month filled with backpacking, road-tripping, camping on the beach, and possibly being eaten by a bear.  I’m now working (and loving it) at a fab company and Kyle’s on summer break. We decided to head out of town on a four day holiday to a four star campsite  (that’s like a five start hotel) for some down time to celebrate.

But this isn’t a post about ratings, stars and screaming children– I’ll save that for another day. It’s a post to celebrate the 5 glorious years we’ve called our own. While hiking up to Rachel Lake (my new favorite hike and lake), I decided to start a “Top Five” list of sorts. This was partially self motivated because Kyle had shoved a can of bear spray in his day pack and knowing I had no idea where we were going, it was safe to assume we were taking a jaunt into  ‘bear country’ and thus I decided we needed to talk the entire time to keep away The Bears.

The Top Five Lists


Though we did have a lot of similarities, we had more fun re-living the last five years with ‘remember that one time…’ than we did actually putting them into these lists.  Regardless of these lists, I know what you’re really thinking about….

No,I did not get Kyle wooden cutlery but I did think about it.  Instead, I got him a rad, new, minimalistic wallet for his ‘green paper.’ He’s been eyeing out these wallets from Bellroy which I do have to say, make some amazing, quality leather goods. I fully endorse this small company especially since their wallets arrive beautifully wrapped so you don’t have to do it!

Kyle in typically fashion out did me. He spoke to the wood-sey girl in me with gaiters and the girly-girl in me with a gorgeous Kate Spade necklace. I see these gaiters lending me to my passion for the outdoors… in the woods. And my necklace is green, which is the same color as the trees! DUH. See, we totally have it together.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:


The 5-year bling

The 5-year bling via @jackieostlie instagram


But, honestly I’m really not that high maintenance as these gifts makes me out to be.  Proof? Rainier and Freezer-Dried Beef Stroganoff for our 5-year anniversary dinner. Does it help that I picked it out?

The celebratory grub

The celebratory grub

weaknesses revealed.

maybe the gift from the experience noted below has been the chance for kyle and i to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are really living Christ as we should be?  are we walking the talk or doing a whole lot of talking?  i think too that tests reveal weaknesses.  and through this ‘test’, my weakness is impatience, anger and judgement.  hmmm, there’s a lot of work to do.

cost of saving souls.

as wedding planning proves an arduous tasks at times, it also has proves exciting and fun.  working with our church is definitely not the latter.  and that has definitely been a bit harder for us to swallow. 

from the beginning, they have been the most challenging to communicate with, secure the venue, work with them on times, and even just to get face  time with someone to go over our questions, etc.  in fact we were told to ‘show ourselves around’ on sundays since we are unable to make it to seattle by 4pm since kyle and i both work over an 1 hr away.  oh and dont bother them as someone will contact us 1 month before our wedding date. shocking, i know.

i’ve been passed off to now 6 people, all of whom, i’m not quite sure, know what what they are doing.  i know its a bit harsh.  but the reality is when you get an email 10 weeks before your wedding from your church asking what sanctuary you’re in, what time it starts, oh ya know, just the little important details that you hammered out months ago and put down a good chunk of change for, you really do start to question things.

the sad thing is i called them on it…3 times.  the first i got a rather lovely, flowery apology from my now called out ‘wedding coodinator’ who explained the confusion, poor communication and training due to transtions. understandable so i let it go.  eh, but when my ‘wedding coordinator’ is supposed to meet me at 2pm the following day, post apology,  for a tour of the sanctuary with my florist and no one, i repeat, NO ONE, from the church was expecting us or knew we were coming, or even wanted to show us around, i get a bit peeved.  so i wrote my ‘wedding coordinator’ another email to follow up on action items and questions we had post visit.  did i get a response? no. 

so i emailed our senior pastor.  do you think i’ve gotten a response? no. 

the sad thing is that we love this church. i know you’re now wondering why? but bethany community church is passionate about activism, environmentalism and loves christ wholly and devoutly.  and yet we both questions our investment, our time in minsitry, our giving, to this church now all with this snowball of a situation.  its even harder to apologize or come up with a witty excuse when my florist is 1 foot away from me and asking if they knew we were coming and if they want to show us around because they don’t look like they do. 

how is it that the Church can be excited, thrilled, passionate and wholly devouted to sharing the love of christ, when they fail miserably at tending to their own flock in situations like this? how can they expect us to fork over hundreds if not thousands of dollars to have our event there and yet not communicate with the couples or congregation members?  how can we be sharing the love of christ by example when all my vendors are in a holding pattern because of our church?  i may be exaggerating here a bit but maybe not.  maybe not.


JJ and kyle’s wedding

you did read that right, but don’t worry. it’s not my kyle.  my best friend is now a mrs. feria as of this past saturday.  yoshi and i flew down to san diego for a hopeful warm, sunny weeked in cali but got welcomed with open arms to a few rays, a lot of clouds and gusts of wind.  lucky for us we were on the beach for rehearsal and on the beach for the wedding and photos.  i have one word to say….hmmmm….more like mutter. brrrrrr. other than the fact that the entire bridal party were ice cubes, the wedding was fabulous, tons of fun and jenny looked absolutely stunning. kyle was crying as was his dad…it was the cutest thing ever!  being surrounded by so many loved ones and just having a whole weekend to celebrate is something i know that my kyle and i are looking forward to.

jenny and kyle also lavished the bridal party and parents with super cool sunglasses that we all wore after ‘you may kiss the bride’ statement…that was fun!  even the dads and moms had matching sunglasses!  i can’t wait to see the photos.

jenny and kyle congrats!  we are so thrilled for you both, your commitment of love toward one another and this amazing journey you’re beginning.  can’t wait to hear how jamaica was, especially since its freakin’ freezing here back in the arctic.

party time

last weekend yoshi and the bridesmaids lavished kyle and i with an amazing engagement party.  it was tons of fun and awesome food.  even the weather held up.  we had 75 degree weather, which felt more like 100 degrees once the house was packed with folks.  many of them exuding heat from the kitchen- non one wanted to move to the living room for fear all food would be eaten up!  LOL!

kudos to yoshi for bbq-ing and the rest of the lovely ladies for pitching in with flowers and food and an amazing time.  i suppose the groomsmen should get credit too for some of the beverages 😉  heehee.

thanks again to one and all for an awesome time.  we had a blast and also were quite moved by the love and energy and time many put into it!  once i have a chance, i’ll try to post photos….until then, ciao

engagement photos!

this past saturday kyle and i hung out with a good friend of ours, corey hage, who is doing our photography for our wedding.  we went out for a bit for some engagement photos and had a blast…the rain held itself at bay though it sure was freezing without it.

we went to the sculpture park, parson’s garden and gas works park.  corey did an amazing job! we love our photos.  let’s see if i’m good at this hyperlink stuff to his website to look at the slideshow….not sure if i am or not.  but here’s worth a try and it will have to suffice until i can upload the dvd of photos onto flickr.  enjoy.