Monday, February 25, 2013

Denver, Where’s the Love?

Colorado isn't all bad

It’s hard to believe that as of next month, I will have lived in Denver for three years. To be completely honest, I haven’t loved living here. This is mostly my fault because I didn’t really get involved in a lot of activities or see a lot of the state because I figured that once I finished graduate school, we’d move away.

It’s now been a year since I finished school, and it looks like we’ll be staying for the next few years, so this year, I decided to challenge myself to learn to love Denver and Colorado. Nic has decided to participate in this challenge even though he already has a lot more love for Colorado than I do. :)

As part of this challenge, we are going to try to explore more of Colorado. This will include weekend trips to different parts of the state as well as more hiking and camping. We even decided to replace our annual international trip with a trip to Mesa Verde. We are also going to try to get more involved through volunteer work and other activities and events.

I’m not convinced that this challenge will make me want to stay in Colorado forever, but I am hoping to discover all it has to offer and fully enjoy our time here. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Apocalypse Wedding

When Nic and I first got engaged in Peru in the summer of 2011, our first thought was to get married in Mexico on 12/21/2012. Nic had read a book full of essays about the supposed “apocalypse” date and discovered that rather than an end of the world, it’s likely that the Mayans viewed this date as a beginning of a new phase of life. We really appreciated this view of a new beginning and thought it would be great to coincide with our new beginning as a married couple.

Engaged in Peru in 2011

At first, our wedding plans included flying people down to Mexico with us and having a small ceremony. We quickly realized that keeping it small would be next to impossible and discovered that it would be really expensive for not only us, but also our guests. As we spent countless hours trying to think of various ideas for a wedding that either of us didn’t hate, we realized that neither of us really wanted a wedding at all.

Our wedding rings

Then I discovered that Colorado offers self-solemnization. This means that a wedding officiate isn’t necessary; rather, the bride and groom can sign where a clergy or judicial officer would typically sign and marry themselves. We loved the idea of marrying ourselves and not needing a random stranger to make our marriage official. With that, we decided to sign the papers to self-solemnize our marriage in Denver and have our own “wedding” in Mexico. We decided to go to the Riviera Maya since that’s where we took our first international trip together in 2008.

Picking up our marriage license from the courthouse

On the morning of December 21, 2012, the winter solstice, the rising sun aligned with the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This “galactic alignment” is something that only happens every 26,000 years (this astronomical event is part of why the Mayans thought so highly of this date). So, on the morning of the 21st, we woke up at 3:00 am and made our way onto the beach. It ended up being pretty cloudy, which meant we couldn’t see the Milky Way, but it also meant the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. We spent hours on the beach talking about the good times we’ve already had in the seven years we’ve been together as well as our hopes and dreams for the future.

Married  :)

Our “wedding” may have been really unconventional and didn't have much in common with a traditional wedding, but for us it was perfect, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

(Find out more about self-solemnization in Colorado)