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Wedding: The End

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The last wedding-related things I want to share with you are the vows and the playlist.


Although I fancy myself some sort of writer, I’m not the type of writer who composes wedding vows. We wanted something more than, “Yo dude, we’re married!” (Sorry about the “yo”; I recognize that I’m a dorky white woman who has no business saying “yo,” well, pretty much ever, but sometimes it happens.) So we turned to the internet, where we found something we liked at Friendly Atheist that was used in an atheist/spiritual Buddhist wedding. Being an editor type, I made a few little changes, plus we adapted it to work for solemnizing our own marriage (we took turns reading paragraphs). Behold the finished product. (They’re a bit long but that was the extent of our ceremony.)

On the journey of life, we as individuals evolve, transform, and change, developing our potential, and finding out more than we ever thought we could know about ourselves. As we travel down this path, we meet many people — some good, some bad, some for only a little while, and some whose path converges with ours for the rest of our lives.

The impact those people have on our lives and the impact we have on theirs is profound and creates a bond, steadfast and lasting, that shapes our path together, and even has an impact on those around us. Now our paths have converged, and we are happy today, not only because of our unity and the unity of our path, but also because we can share that unity with everyone in our lives.

We pledge to help each other to develop our hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom as we age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and awesomeness.

We pledge to help each other develop loving kindness, allowing our love to be our example of the love we should share with everyone around us, and move each other to have more love and patience for all in the world.

We pledge to help each other be mindful of our thoughts and emotions, and to support and guide each other on our path, even when our path is rocky and unsteady, and especially when the path is obscured from our sight and we aren’t sure where to go.

We pledge to help each other when thoughts and emotions may turn to negativity, and help each other see the opportunity for emotional growth in challenging times and help each other take full advantage of that emotional growth so our hearts can be fully open to each other.

We pledge to preserve and enrich the love between us, and to share it with all those around us, generating compassion and empathy for all living beings and striving to never turn a deaf ear to each other’s suffering or the suffering ever present in the world.

When it comes time to part, due to the impermanence of this world, we pledge to look back on our time with joy, a joy we have built and shared together, and shared with the world around us, and remember our happiness and the kindness we showed the world and the kindness we were showed in return.

We pledge to remember the pain caused by ignorance and anger, and to apply an antidote whenever these are present, and to help each other avoid this pain and work toward the welfare of others with all our wisdom, compassion, and skill.

We pledge to continually develop the patience in ourselves that we may better understand each other, knowing that lasting change is slow and requires work and understanding, and to continually seek inspiration from those around us and in our everyday lives.

Understanding that because we are a mystery to ourselves, we are also a mystery to each other, we pledge to continually seek understanding of ourselves, each other, and all living beings, to continually examine our own minds, and regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy that comes with being able to share those mysteries with each other.

We pledge to dedicate ourselves to each other in this life, with body, spirit, and mind, in health or sickness, wealth or poverty, happiness or difficulty, as long as we both shall live.

[Exchange rings.]

The wedding ring is an outward symbol of the emotional and spiritual commitment that we are making, which unites two loyal hearts in partnership.

By the power vested in us by the state of Colorado, we now pronounce ourselves husband and wife!


Ben and I both contributed songs to the playlist, then hit shuffle. Some of these are meaningful (Welcome to Atlanta, for example, from the early days) and some are just songs we’re digging now that have no deeper significance.

Playlist: 11.11.11
Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana
Happiness – Mark Farina
Welcome to Atlanta – Ludacris
Simple Kind of Life – No Doubt
H to the Izzo – Jay-Z
Change of Heart – Azari & III
The Bay (Erol Alkan Re-Edit) – Metronomy
You Found a Way – Tortured Soul
Let’s Make Love (Hot Chip Remix) – CSS
Fix My Sink – DJ Sneak
In the Grace of Your Love – The Rapture
Electric Feel – MGMT
Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) – Maxwell
Flowerz – Armand Van Helden
Electric Feel (acoustic) – Katy Perry
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
The Way I Feel – Solu Music
Two Can Win – J Dilla
Take ‘Em Up – Shit Robot feat. Nancy Whang
The Cure & The Cause – Dennis Ferrer
Shades of Jae – Moodymann
Love Like a Sunset (Pts. I & II) – Phoenix
You’ve Got the Love (XX Remix) – Florence + the Machine
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
Anitina (First Time I See She Dance) – MAARS
I Can Get Love – Toro Y Moi
Excuse Me Miss – Jay-Z
Yours (Original Mix) – Steffi feat. Virginia
I Want Your Soul – Armand Van Helden
There 4 Me (Soul Bounce (Vocal)) – Mark Grant
I Can’t Tell You Why (DJ-KiCKS) – Chromeo
45:33 (Prince Language Remix) – LCD Soundsystem
Flashback – Jazzanova
I Wanted to Tell Her – Holy Ghost! feat. Nancy Whang & Juan Maclean
Do It Now (Extended Disco Version) – Dubtribe Sound System
Givin’ Into Love – Buckner Funken Jazz
He Is – Heather Headley
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
Love Make’s – Mark Farina
Is This Love – Bob Marley
The Light – Common
A Long Walk – Jill Scott
Darko – Booka Shade
Thing Called Love (Legowelt Remix) – Wolfram feat. Haddaway
Your Love – Bon Iver
You Make Me Feel Like (Peace & Love & Happiness) – A:Xus
Lights, Camera, Action – Mr. Cheeks
Falling Into (Swell Sessions Boy Wonder Mix) – Stateless
Better Things – Passion Pit
Looking for Love (Kevin Yost’s Fate Calling Mix) – Karen Ramirez
Brian Eno – MGMT
Prisoner of Love – Jessica 6
Changes (Vemixed) – Van She

The whole thing (plus a pdf track list) is available for a limited time here. Enjoy!

Written by Tracy

November 14th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

About our Non-Wedding Wedding

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11/11/11Here’s the thing. I believe that you get to expect the universe to give a shit about the fact that you’re getting married once. I expected the universe to give a shit about the fact that I was getting married the first time I did it, which was in 1999. Obviously, that didn’t work out and now we’re here, in 2011, where I got married for the second time (to the first most awesome guy ever). Ben, who had never been married before, could’ve expected the universe to give a shit about the fact that he was getting married but for real guys, he’s a dude and just isn’t that into weddings.

Aside from the fact that I’d already played my “give a shit about my wedding” card, we just really don’t give a shit about weddings. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t begrudge you a wedding if you want to have one and I don’t judge people for having weddings. But for us? We just don’t care. I mean, as they say on ESPN, come on, man. We’ve been together for almost 10 years. We have a child, a house, and 100 animals together. Getting married at this point isn’t the biggest deal in the world and honestly, it would feel a little ridiculous to make a huge event out of it.

There also are 9,000 things we’d rather spend money on than a wedding. As far as specific, wedding-related expenses go, our total was $60. That doesn’t count stuff like my dress, which I bought recently and wore for the first time here but can wear in other situations. You can’t really be mad at a $60 wedding. That’s kind of bad ass, if it’s okay for me to say that.

I realized early on that we had to be pretty bad ass about having a non-wedding wedding. Earlier this year, we thought about going to Vegas to get married. I got on Etsy and ordered this thing to wear in my hair when we went to Vegas and got married (it’s an aqua flower thing). That right there made me realize I was on a slippery slope to wedding spending madness. For a wedding in Vegas, even with just us, we’d end up spending a pretty good wad of cash. I mean, we’d probably want a photographer to document at least the wedding itself and well then a dress and some aqua shoes and we’d have to stay in a decent room at a decent hotel because gosh darn it it’s our special wedding blah blah and before you know it, thousands of dollars are gone.

I think weddings, like many situations in life, lend themselves to getting caught up in the 10,000 things. As stated in the Tao Te Ching:

The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.

I know the Tao Te Ching has nothing to do with weddings, but I think the same reasoning applies, at least for me. If we invite one person to our wedding, we have to invite everybody. If we do one thing, we have to do a bunch of other things, too. We don’t want to do anything and therefore, we will do nothing. Zero times zero is zero.

I mean, we didn’t totally do nothing. We got dressed up (ish) in new clothes, packed up a bottle of champagne and crystal glasses and snacks for Soren, and headed out to City Park. (We originally planned to go to the Botanic Gardens, but I thought that would be awkward because there would probably be people walking by all the time.) We wanted to go to the gazebo but there were people in it so we went to the other side of the main building at City Park. The spot ended up being perfect — there was enough space for Soren to run around yelling at squirrels and we had a nice view of downtown. I got a few photos before the camera remote pretty much stopped working. And only two people walked through our wedding attempts. (There were several attempts.) We finally got through our vows with minimal toddler and squirrel interruptions, kissed, signed the marriage license, and finished the champagne.

We ended up being just as married as anybody who has ever had a wedding. That evening, Ben, Soren, and I went to City O City and had beer (well, Soren didn’t have beer), seitan wings, and seitan sausage and pepper pizza. I think the whole thing was pretty damn awesome.

This is my favorite video from the day — it’s one of the failed attempts.

Wedding: Take 4 from Tracy Noelle on Vimeo.

Written by Tracy

November 13th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Posted in and life

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Solemnizing Your Own Marriage in Colorado

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So we got a marriage license today.This is kind of weird and totally awesome — in Colorado, a bride and groom can solemnize their own marriage. In normal-people-speak, that means you can marry yourselves and don’t need a judge, minister, or any sort of officiant. You also don’t need witnesses.

To solemnize your own marriage, there are a few super-easy things you need to do. Assemble what you need to get a marriage license:

  • a driver’s license or similar form of ID
  • your parents’ full names and city and state (or country if outside the U.S.) of birth
  • if you’ve been married before, the date of dissolution, the court, and the city and state (you don’t need documentation)
  • $30 (cash or check)
  • $1.25 for each certified copy of your marriage certificate you want (cash or check) — it’s a good idea to get a certified copy when solemnizing your own marriage, especially if you live in or might move to another state (not many states allow self-solemnization).

Go to the local Clerk & Recorder’s Office (in Denver, this is on the first floor of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.). We went on a Monday afternoon and there was no wait and the woman helping us was one of the nicest people, ever. You’ll get a marriage license (seen in the photo). The names and city/state of residence of the bride and groom will be filled in for you. Also, they’ll stamp “Bride and Groom” in the “Print Title of Officiating Party” space.

You’ll also get a copy of the statute authorizing you to solemnize your own marriage (CRS § 14.2.109), instructions for completing the marriage license with examples, an envelope for mailing the completed license to the clerk, and a receipt. You have 30 days after getting your marriage license to get married and you must return the completed license to the Clerk & Recorder (by mail in the provided envelope or by dropping it off) within 60 days of getting married.

(Note: If you’re changing your name, you’ll have to do additional paperwork. I don’t know what’s involved in this process because I’m not changing my name and didn’t ask.)

So, you go to an office and pay $30 and get a form, go wherever you want and marry yourselves, and return the form. That’s it! As far as the “marry yourselves” part goes, you can do whatever you want. The only legal requirement is that you complete and return the marriage license.

I think this is just about the coolest thing ever, and this is what Ben and I will be doing, well, soon. It’s a good option if you’re having a non-wedding wedding, also known as getting married without having a wedding or eloping. It’s just about as simple as it gets.

Written by Tracy

November 6th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Posted in and life

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WTF Wednesday: Pool Crashing

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In addition to planning a non-wedding wedding (which, honestly, isn’t much work at all — our wedding to-do list looks like this: 1. get marriage license), Ben and I are planning a staycation honeymoon.1 Our staycation honeymoon will involve taking the week after our non-wedding wedding off work, dropping Soren off at daycare on his usual three days, and puttering around Denver doing whatever random stuff we feel like doing.

That probably sounds pretty lame, but I’m looking forward to it like crazy.

Aside from driving to and from Chicago to visit family (the last time was 2007), Ben and I haven’t had a vacation since 2003. If you’re doing the math, that’s a long-ass freaking time without a vacation. (I did take a 12-week maternity leave after Soren was born, but that arguably does not count as vacation even though it was time off work.)

Considering that all our money and then some goes to child care, even though we won’t have any travel or lodging expenses, we’re still trying to do things on the mad-crazy cheap. So, you know, maybe we’ll get some seitan wings at City O City, hit up a few local breweries, go on a hike, sit in a hotel lobby and pretend to be tourists, and try to scoop up some free/cheap Avs tickets (I’m on the verge of starting to really watch hockey as a result of the NBA lockout, although it seems like quite a commitment because I know next to nothing about hockey; for example, I just googled “crease”).

As you can see, my staycation honeymoon goals are, as you’d expect, pretty modest. There is one thing I’d like to get a little fancy about, though. It would be awesome if we could spend at least a couple hours lounging by a nice pool somewhere. Now that it’s no longer summer, I’m not sure how easy that will be.

Bellagio pool

photo: MGM Mirage

My gym has a pretty nice pool, but it seems kind of silly to lounge by a gym pool in gigantic sunglasses and a cleavagetacular swimsuit like you’re, well, somewhere other than the gym. I once read a novel where the main character spent most of her time sneaking into unoccupied hotel rooms and using hotel pools, but I’m not sure how well that works in practice. I’m also a little wary of this sort of endeavor because the one time in my life I was ever arrested (although, full disclosure, it wasn’t bad-ass enough arrested to result in being taken to jail) related to late-night escapades in a hotel in a sort of trespassy fashion (that was fun to explain on the character and fitness portion of my Bar application; yes, they do allow you to be admitted to practice law if you did stupid shit when you were in college).

Pools are kind of a thing for me for two reasons. One is that I’m at a point in my life where I’m not too embarrassed to wear a swimsuit in public. The other is that they’re pretty much symbolic of complete and utter relaxation, at least for someone like me who doesn’t live near a beach or like to fly. (Side note: I really, really, really want to go to Las Vegas someday just for the pools.)

So whether it’s by unauthorized crashing or more legitimate means, I hope to spend at least a little leisure time by a pool in the near future.
1. Yes, it does kind of pain me to use the word “staycation,” but what are you gonna do, staycations gonna staycation.

Written by Tracy

October 19th, 2011 at 1:50 pm