A widely known secret: while our wedding anniversary is and always will be November 6, our marriage anniversary is September 17. That's the day we traveled to downtown Houston to request our license. The clerk informed us that judges were available that day to perform ceremonies; all we had to do was find one with about 20 minutes to spare. This wasn't the original plan, but it sounded like a great idea.
We cold-called nine judges. Most were out to lunch, unavailable or otherwise busy. Come back after 1, their offices told us. May have better luck then. We walked over to Frank's Pizza for a quick bite, and then returned at 1:15 p.m. to see if our luck did indeed improve. No dice. Three offices visited and not one judge available to marry us. No biggie. We had planned on marrying in front of our best friends and family later in November, so it wasn't the worst outcome. Tomorrow would arrive just as we had expected all along. But there was something about leaving the courthouse that day without being married that didn't feel right. The two of us there, together, spending a whirlwind but fun day doing things unplanned and experiencing things unexpected. There was really only one way the day should end.
Hold on! We heard a voice say as we were walking toward the elevators. The judge called, she's on her way back and asked if you can wait another 20 minutes. We sat in an empty courtroom. Behind us sat another couple waiting to marry, a gentleman wearing denim cutoffs who looked like Brian Denehy. Sitting next to him, a slender man resting his head on Brian Denehy's shoulder, panting and drenched from the day's heat. He looked like Tim Blake Nelson.
Almost 19 minutes after we sat, in walked the Honorable Alexandra Smoots-Hogan. She married us after a lovely and funny ceremony that lasted about 15 minutes. We walked out of the courthouse happy, knowing that tomorrow would arrive just as we expected, but all the better for what occurred today. It would be right.
So, true to form, two years later, and after one of the more devastating storms to hit the Texas Gulf Coast, we left for Austin for an unplanned, unexpected and whirlwind visit to celebrate our second anniversary -- not on November 6, not even on September 17, but on September 9. Just the two of us. We had brunch with some of our best friends who joined us on our wedding day, but otherwise spent the weekend in the same company we enjoyed on September 17. Unfortunately Judge Smoots-Hogan was unavailable to join us, but no matter. We had a wonderful time!
This may be the last time, for a while at least, when "just the two of us" will actually happen. We missed Sebastian. He was there with us on September 17, waiting to be born in February. But he spent our anniversary weekend with his grandparents so we could have a small time away and alone. If you had told us Gigi would arrive right after our second wedding anniversary, we probably would have laughed heavily. But here we are. Soon to be four of us now. Unexpected, whirlwind and unplanned, but also just right.
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