Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coming Up Next: Meghan and Reid's Northern California Wedding

Who would have thought that in 2007 Meghan would meet the love of her life on a wild spring break in Lake Havasu? THEN, who would have thought that said love of her life would live in Montana (while she lived in California)? Who would have thought that these two star-crossed lovers would end up spending the rest of their lives together?

I can't wait to show you more pictures from their AMAZING wedding, coming up next. This is one real life fairy tale that you just can't miss! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Mark of Adulthood

Welcome to my life, tattoo
I'm a man now, thanks to you
I expect I'll regret you
But the skin graft man won't get you
You'll be there when I die,
- The Who

My good friend Emily's very conservative 52-year-old mom hates tattoos. Emily tells me that whenever her mom sees someone with a tattoo she makes some kind of comment about how much she dislikes them. "Why would anyone ever get a tattoo?" she says, in a tone of disgust. (Mind you, she is a very nice woman, she just has a strong aversion to tattoos.)

I am assuming the generation gap contributes to her hate of tattoos. I feel like (and I could be way off on this -- let me know if you think otherwise) that 30-50+ years ago tattoos were generally associated with ruffians, military men, and jailbirds. Certainly, they were not associated with "civilized" young ladies, or "refined" business people.

In 2009, tattoos have become accepted as a form of artistic expression. In fact, some tattoo artists complete years of study to perfect their craft. But aside from tattoos being "more accepted" as a form of expression, let's go back to Emily's mom's question and ask, Why would anyone ever get a tattoo?

It is too simple to merely answer this question with: "It is a form of expression." Really, everything is "a form of expression" -- speaking, moving, laughing, drawing, writing, singing, hairstyles, fashion, etc.

What is it that compels us to alter our body so permanently? To endure pain, often for hours, to yield an immutable image?

I think we need some pictures to really try to probe this question -- analysis follows.

The first picture (below) is of my friend Danna. She recently got a tattoo (still not complete -- it will take a total of three sittings) of a vine of morning glories on her back. I won't go into the reasons why she chose it (she promises to blog that story for you later), but what I will tell you is she is 28, well educated, articulate, and works at a good corporate job. She is hardly a ruffian.

Here are a few more pictures of Danna at her second sitting as she is getting some color added.

Here is a really good shot of the detail.

What an awesome tattoo! I can't wait to post the completed work of art once she goes for her final sitting in two weeks.

The second tattoo I want us to look at is from my friend Michael, an M.D. at Stanford. Next time you visit your doctor, imagine what might be under his/or her clothes. This might be the last image you would picture on the back of your straight-laced doc.

Isn't that tattoo incredible? I love the detail in the Buddha and the demon, contrasted with the simple, clean lines of the wheel.

So, what can we make of these kinds of "expressions"?

In our search for the elusive adulthood, I think we can view tattoos as a metaphor. Sometimes "adulthood" means breaking out of our suit and ties, our doctor's coats, our high heel work pumps, and making this beautiful, indelible mark on our own existence -- literally.

Perhaps our generation is on to something really important.

We are unafraid of the moment. We embrace the permanence of tattoos, perhaps because we are wiser than we know. For, after all, life is short -- and we must savor every moment. We must feel it all, pleasure and pain. And ultimately, we know too, the tattoo is not permanent at all: our body is only a vessel. Our ashes will one day blow away, our body will one day fully decay.

But the life we lived, wasn't it grand? And maybe the tattoo is just a reminder to live in the moment, to cherish the past, to feel pain, scar, and heal. And when we are old and grey, and our tattoos are wrinkled, faded, or stretched, they will serve to remind us that we were once brave, bold, and uninhibited, and we lived every moment as our last.

What do you think? Do you love or hate tattoos? Do you have any tattoos - why or why not? Can you answer Emily's mom's question? Let's discuss in the comments.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Three Babies and a Mom

I am instituting a new feature for the blog: Wordless Wednesdays.
Let's celebrate and commiserate adulthood in a narrative of photo memories.

Still need some inspiration? Our first photo comes to us from my dear friend Jenn. Jenn is mom to an adorable but extremely hyper-active 18 month old, and two precious 8 week old twins.

I give you, My Day: Three Babies and a Mom -- proving that a picture truly does say a thousand words.

Here is your challenge, my glorious readers: dig through old photo albums, old computer hard drives, old social networking site profile pictures and tell us a meaninful story in just one photo. Give it a name, or don't name it at all, and send it along to me at

Now looking at My Day, what kinds of things from this narrative speak to you? How amazing is this woman in the image?

To me this narrative reads as a woman who is strong, fecund, resourceful, and resilient. To me, this photo seems to celebrate the power of Mother, and also remind us that motherhood means being present for your children in every way: sacrificing your chin to feed your baby if need be, and sacrificing your sanity to make sure your children are happy, healthy, and loved. This picture, my friends, oozes love in a real, tangible, way. And I know, if I grew up and found a picture just like this of my mom, with me and my brother, I would feel something very powerful. I would think, wow, my mom gave me everything she had, and she was really somethin' special.

Let's talk about it! Send me any thoughts in the comments. All you mothers out there, does this inspire you? Or does it remind you how hard it can be sometimes to be a mommy? All you readers with no children, how does this make you feel? Does this scare you? All views are welcome here. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

(Photo courtesy of J.G.J.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Greetings, dear readers! I hope on your visit to the blog this time you noticed the amazing makeover to the site!

Thanks to the talents of Ms. Sarah Busta (pictured above), the consummate master of graphic design (and pretty much the most fun girl you will ever meet), Welcome to Adulthood has never looked more amazing!

Sarah Busta, who calls San Francisco home, currently works at Union Street Papery as a design consultant for the coolest wedding invitations around. (*Remember this all you brides-to-be.*)She is also the designer for their super cool blog, which has lots of great info for Bay Area brides. Check it out!

(Picture via Ms. Busta's Facebook.)

Reason #414 Why I Love San Francisco

Where have you traveled lately and what interesting/beautiful/alarming/fantastic things have you seen? Send me your pictures and your travel stories!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vows Under the Rotunda

Today I am so excited to feature some pictures on the blog for our first official wedding post!

Elizabeth and Shaik (who live in San Francisco's NOPA area, those lucky ducks) couldn't reconcile between having a small, intimate ceremony in the beautiful "Beaux-Arts"-style City Hall Building that they had always admired, or whether to have a large wedding with all the pomp and circumstance. After much thought, Elizabeth and Shaik realized, "Hey, why are we anguishing over this when we can do it all?"

Shaik wanted a traditional wedding in his hometown in Malaysia to celebrate with his 500 close family and friends (he actually has 500 family and friends -- that is not an exaggeration!) Elizabeth wanted a classic and elegant wedding in California with her closest family and friends. Travel costs for all family and friends prohibited them from doing one big wedding, so they initially decided on two, big, separate weddings. Through all their planning of the two big weddings they realized something else they wanted: to share their vows of love and partnership in a quiet setting, in the city they adored, surrounded by only a handful of family and friends, Elizabeth wearing a little white dress and her favorite yellow peep-toe pumps, and Shaik wearing his sharpest Navy suit. Why compromise?

On July 3, 2009 they made their first dream come true. They were married in the rotunda of City Hall, under the fifth largest dome in the world.

In case you have never visited the building, here is a picture. It is really stunning!

Here is the couple walking to the City Hall (and there was no fog!)

And in front of the City Hall before the ceremony.

Here is the homemade bouquet that I made for Elizabeth. I wrapped the stems in Elizabeth's favorite old yellow silky shirt. Though the shirt hasn't fit for years, Elizabeth couldn't part with it because she loved the pretty material so much. She knew she would use the material for something special -- and did she ever! If you look closely, you might even see the buttons!

Here they are signing the marriage lisence.

The beautiful bride!

I love this sweet candid shot, stealing a glance before the big moment.

On the famous staircase.

And the dip!

So, I guess it is true that for your wedding you really can have your cake and eat it too! Elizabeth + Shaik + a simple, intimate ceremony + an elegant U.S. wedding + a traditional Malaysian destination wedding = total awesomeness. Thank you so much Elizabeth and Shaik for sharing your beautiful and sweet day with us. We can't wait to see more pictures from your U.S. wedding and your Malaysian wedding!

How did you celebrate your special day? Send me your story and any pictures to be featured on the blog to

(City Hall building picture credit to Nicholas Shanks.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Coming Up Next

The perks of adulthood may come in many shapes and sizes...and in this case, it comes in the form of a purple Morning Glory.

'Tis the Season to be...Wed?

Did I mention so many of my friends are engaged? In fact, another of my dearest friends got engaged last weekend. I am glad I have this blog, because I think this is one of those things that many people can relate to in some way or another. I call it, Rites of Passage In Which You Are Not Included.

I think we get used to achieving rites of passages with our peers. You get your period about the same time as your friends (which is important so you can share some woman-stories and information, not just glean all your information from Judy Blume's, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.) You go into high school about the same time as your peers, you graduate high school at the same time as your peers, you go off to college, you graduate college, you get a "real" job and all your friends are getting "real" jobs too, and you...get married around the same time?

Maybe that is why I feel left behind. Granted, I am not in any hurry to get married, but I can't help but feel left behind among the talk of wedding gowns and flower colors.

And then the inevitable question from random people, family members, friends:
"What about you and your boyfriend?"

"What about it?"

"When will you be getting married?"

"Uh, you know. We are just takin' our time right now and enjoying it."

Why do I feel like I need to legitimize my relationship status? Probably because I am the one who is left behind in this epic rite of passage. And it is not that I feel left behind in my relationship, but more left behind by my friends. Kinda like if someone had told me when I was 17 that I couldn't graduate high school for another year or two, and all my friends got to go off to exciting post-high school adventures. Yeah. That is exactly how I feel: like I am sitting in a math class, looking out the window, watching my friends pack for college ( is a reverie: obviously they would not be packing RIGHT in front of my classroom window. And I did graduate high school on time, I might add -- with no thanks to my poor math grades.)

I just kind of feel...quiet. Happy for them but quiet inside because I feel my dearest friends will be on to new things. New "married" things. And I will still be quietly here.

What about you guys out there? Do you, or did you, ever feel like this?

The good news about all my friends weddings is that I will be able to start a new topic to file things on our blog: weddings! That means anything wedding you want to share, talk about, etc, send my way! Pictures are especially welcome.

To start off this new "file" in the blog, I am posting a picture of my dear friend, Morgan (also a highly anticipated guest blogger, hopefully!) who is pretty much about the coolest girl around.

Morgan is a cross between a indie fashionista and a hippie, if you can wrap your head around that one. She is a New Jersey girl, transplanted to the beach of San Diego (not too shabby) and is engaged to a handsome fellow named Brant. Brant is in the Navy and is currently deployed in Kuwait. He works for the Navy E.O.D. and basically blows up bombs all day, but more on that later.

Brant proposed to Morgan with this stunning sapphire and diamond ring. The best thing about this ring (aside from that it is beautiful) is that it features conflict-free, ethically sourced, gemstones. Morgan felt strongly about not supporting the proliferation of blood diamonds, and she has always loved sapphires. Here is a picture of the loveliness:

To read more about conflict diamonds, and why it is so important to support purchases of conflict-free gemstones, check out what the U.N. has to say: Conflict Diamonds

And here is an interesting tidbit: A French lady who I used to work with had a wedding ring that was also not a diamond. She told me that diamonds were considered an "American" thing (picture a very thick French accent with a highly pejorative undertone)and in Europe no one really cared for diamonds as they were not as rare as their high prices would lead you to believe (the rareness vs. price is true, not just a cultural bias.) In fact, she even referred to them as "common."

What do you think? To diamond or not to diamond? Did you know about conflict diamonds and now that you do will you think twice before purchasing a diamond? Lots to talk about today, folks! Sound off in the comments.

(The lovely Gatsby-esque wedding picture is via, and the others are courtesy of Miss Morgan the Magnificent.)