Ow. Ow. Ow. Yippee!

“Sign here.”

<scribble scribble>

“And here.”

<scribble scribble>

“And here.”

<scribble scribble>

“And initial here.”

<scribble scribble>

“And sign here.”

<scribble scribble>

(repeat ad infinitum)

“And one more here.”

<scribble scribble> (albeit more slowly, as the hand starts to cramp up)

“Oh, and one last one here.”

<scribble scribble>

And with the ritual draining of ink from the pen, we closed on our home mortgage refinance—from a 30-year fixed to a 15-year fixed, saving two points on the rate.

As for me, I’ve almost got the feeling back in my hand. I should be fine.

Well, pooh.

I was supposed to see the 9:00 a.m. showing of The Matrix Reloaded this morning as a teambuilding event, but unfortunately, duty (read: actual work) got in the way, and I’m having to eat the ticket without seeing the movie.

Pooh, pooh, pooh.

Oh well… all it means is that when I see it this weekend with my sweetie, it’ll be my first time to see it instead of my second.

(By the way, anyone want a ticket for a movie that started about 20 minutes ago?)

A year already?

It hardly seems possible that it’s been a year already, but yesterday was our one year wedding anniversary. When we got married, I promised that I’d stay with her for 75 years, and after that, she was on her own. (We’re in our mid-30s now. Do the math.) So I guess it’s one down, seventy-four more to go.

So how did we celebrate this happy occasion…?

First on the list was a trip down to the Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival for few hours. An odd way to celebrate an anniversary, you might be thinking, and under most circumstances you’d be correct. But this past week—also Mother’s Day weekend, remember—the Faire was performing noontime ceremonies in which couples could renew their wedding vows in the presence of the “King” and “Queen”. And how could we pass up a somewhat unique opportunity such as this? (Answer: We couldn’t.) So along with about a dozen or so other couples, we repledged ourselves to one another in a simple but rather cool ceremony.

After puttering around the Faire for a couple more hours, we headed back home to get ready for dinner. The evening’s wardrobe: a charcoal grey suit with complementary burgundy shirt (no tie, thank you) for me; a short, sassy “little black dress” for her. The evening’s destination: St. Martin’s Wine Bistro. St. Martin’s is a dark, cozy place to spend a nice, romantic dinner—complete with live piano entertainment—and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for great food and solid service (leave your diets at the door, however, as the French-American fare is full of the traditional cream sauces, etc.—but this is a good thing, in my book). Grilled salmon with Champagne Dijonaise sauce and saffron rice for her, tournedos of beef tenderloin with a portabello and Courvoisier sauce plus a side of garlic mashed potatoes for me. Oh, and I must not forget the lobster bisque (her) and Champagne Brie soup (me) we had for appetizers, or the white chocolate cheesecake (her) and chocolate terrine (me) for dessert. It was a decadent affair—as it should have been.

(A side note: I do wish Texans in general would learn to take the time to… well, not necessarily dress up, but at least take the time to make themselves “appropriately presentable” when going out to eat at certain places. It reminds me of a discussion a few of us had not too long ago: In Texas, there’s almost nowhere you can’t go in a nice pair of jeans. Sadly, that’s probably true—or even if it’s not, it’s become acceptable to do so. A shame.)

After we returned home, it was time to engage in that time-honored tradition of eating the topper from your wedding cake, dutifully saved for a year since the day of our nuptials. We each loaded up a forkful of cake, fed them to each other, and proceeded to agree that the cake had not held up well at all over the past twelve months. Short version: It was awful. (We had been warned by friends not to expect too much from the cake. If they had been true friends, they would have warned us more emphatically.) But we had performed our expected duties, and fortunately, there was a big block of Hershey’s chocolate in the fridge to chase the lingering taste away.

The evening ended with the two of us on the couch rewatching the video from our wedding, which led to me uttering the following line as we watched the video of us cutting the wedding cake: “That cake was great! Why didn’t we save any of that cake?”

A year together, and she hasn’t killed me yet. One down, seventy-four more to go. (Though knowing her, she’ll probabaly change the rules and make me stay around for a few years after that… man, we’re gonna be married, like, forever at this rate…)

I love you, kiddo.

On the occasion of our anniversary

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise
I love thee with the passion put to use,
In my old grief, and with my childhood’s faith
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

“How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning