29 September 2010

Vint Condition and the Matter of Choice

Vint Condition is a pro-choice business because I am a pro-choice business owner. I support the right to access abortion services, sexual health education, reproductive health care, and birth control options. I believe access to these services is essential and transformative to the men, women, teens, and families who need them.

That is why as Vint Condition, I have donated a $50 gift certificate to my local Planned Parenthood's online auction. This auction raises critical funds for Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York so they can keep providing necessary services to my local community.  PPNCNY never turns down patients based on their ability to pay or their insurance status and doesn't tell patients that they just can't take on any more clients at the moment.

In the current political climate, many businesses donate to organizations like my local Planned Parenthood quietly and anonymously. I've chosen to write about it here because I believe that it's important not to be intimidated by a small yet vocal group of individuals. I've seen patients walk past picket lines just to get to their health care appointments, and if they are brave enough to do that, then businesses should be brave enough to show their support.

So if you'd like to support an organization that does amazing work in keeping my local community healthy and informed, head on over to their online auction and bid not just on the Vint Condition gift certificate, but on the other amazing items they have to offer.  Many are for upstate New York businesses, but there are quite a few other items.  If you're a local, consider heading on over to their amazing gala with none other than Cecile Richards (president of Planned Parenthood) as their speaker.

12 September 2010

Wedding Day: Part 1

A year ago today I married a truly amazing man. We met when I was just 18.  It was in late September and I had just began college when he showed up to visit some friends. He had graduated the year before. I was pouting, ridiculously so, that my friends had yet to arrive on their planned visit so he gave me a hug. It felt perfect. His hugs still feel perfect. My chin rests perfectly in the notch of his collarbone and he rests his against my shoulder. I'll never tire of hugging him.

This year in November we'll also celebrate ten years together. During that time we've each passionately pursued our own interests and in fact maintained a long distance relationship for 4.5 years. I lived in Italy while he lived in Pittsburgh. We both studied writing at separate times. And we've both traveled around the world separately.  But in the end, we've always been there for one another.

We wanted our wedding to be as much about us as possible and we tried to keep it as simple and intimate as possible. We ditched a lot of ingrained wedding concepts like an evenly matched wedding party, diamond rings, not seeing the bride before the wedding, bouquet and garter tossing, and cake.

This is my husband (the one on the left):

He's pretty darn cute, that husband of mine. There's a lot I could say here about him and there's a lot of individual aspects that I love about him.  But to say he knows me, he knows me sometimes better than I know myself alludes to how well connected we are. This is not to say we don't drive each other crazy sometimes and in fact we've had some intense arguments in the past where we've had to redefine what we are to each other, but we've made it through based mostly on his strength and steadfastness.  And I will say that I believe I'm the lucky one.

This is my dress:
I do regret not buying a vintage dress. In fact, I'd assumed I'd be wearing a color as well. But then I walked into a bridal shop and saw this dress. It was love despite the fact it had a train.  The reason I loved the dress is that close up there, the re-embroidered lace. Heaven.

This is my bouquet:
Flowers were one of the hardest parts of planning the wedding. The florist was trying to bully me into bouquets and table arrangements that had nothing to do with what I wanted. So, my beautiful bridesmaid Erika pulled this together for me. Simple and pretty. She's a wonder that girl.

These are our rings:
 My husband is so Irish. He knew I didn't really want a diamond ring, so when he asked me to marry him he did so with a Claddagh ring that was handcrafted in Ireland (he ordered it too big in a moment of panic so I wore that ring guard with it). We got him a matching band for our wedding and then added in a very dainty ruby ring that was my grandmother's for the wedding.

This is our ring ceremony:
 We met up at our house to spend some time together before the ceremony. We exchanged rings and made sure the hearts faced outward. At the wedding ceremony we turned them heart side in.

This is us at our house:

We live in a cute American Foursquare on a river. It was built in 1915 from a kit and owner by the town undertaker which means it served as a personal home and funeral home.
This is our reception site:
I wrote a bit about getting married on the family property here. What I didn't write about is how amazing my family was in getting everything ready. The fields were trimmed, the outbuildings painted. The barn got a fresh coat of red paint and my father put the initials of both of my grandmothers on the back of the barn so that I would, in some small way, have them there with me. They are the best of what people can be.

This is the wedding (and obligatory photos of us):