From the horse himself ...

It's true!

I said yes! I get to marry this amazingly kind, witty, scarily smart, gentle, loving man and I could not be more humbled, grateful or thrilled.

On Saturday, Shoes and I went to Bread and Ink Cafe on Hawthorne for Breakfast.  I normally LOVE Bread and Ink, but on that morning, it was truly terrible in the most awful of ways.  (Terrible, guys, terrible.  I expect free Mimosas next time.)  I think after that we both just wanted to sleep for the rest of the day and start over again on Sunday.  Or, I did.  Shoes, however, was formulating a plan of his own.

It was the first gorgeously sunny day in Portland for weeks (sorry, rest of the country.  We have been freezing our buns off over here), so like every other Portlander (hello, 580,000 neighbors!), we headed out to Washington Park / the Japanese Gardens / The Portland Rose Gardens.    You can't waste days like that around here.

So, in a setting like this:

In a rare moment of solitude (all 580,000 Portlanders were taking guided tours of the Garden that day, I'm pretty sure), on a bench outside of the Teahouse:

My dear, sweet Shoes pulled the ring out of his pocket and told me there was nothing else on earth he'd rather do than marry me.

And I, who had had so, so many sweet and loving things to tell Shoes on the day he proposed, (heart felt, tender, important things) said, "WOW Y'ALL - LOOK AT THAT TEAHOUSE! THINK THEY GOT A GEE-SHA IN HERE SOMEWHERE?"

Well, technically, a guy in the tour group that had just come around the corner said that.  In the absence of privacy, I cried lots of happy tears instead and whispered all of those wonderfully sweet things while we finished walking around the Garden.  I'm glossing over a bunch.  I have a lot to say about my own personal redemption of marriage as an institution, which I will surely do in a later, separate posting.

Suffice it to say, this is more than I could have asked for.

Shoes is more than I could have asked for. I can't believe I'm lucky enough to have a marriage and a life with this man.   (We'll also talk about the gravity of what it's like to be entering into a second marriage in a later post!).

But for now, just know this.

I surely do love him.

And this next picture, and the little message, is especially for Stacey A.

Sparkle Code to Jesus!

We're getting hitched!!!
Shoes and I.

Lots of stories.  Mostly ridiculous tales of things that should have never in a million years worked out.

But did.

Like the story of our first date.   In the Vineyard Town, I had been working at the Juvenile Justice Center supervising a Guardian Ad Litem program, which is all dependency / foster care / civil law.  Shoes took over the criminal juvenile caseload a few months after I started my GAL responsibilities.

And from the moment he stepped on to the JJC field, two very strong willed co-workers / friends were convinced Shoes and I should go on a date.  Never mind we had never uttered a word to each other.   So I drug my feet like only I can drag my feet.  And resisted.  And went out with somebody else.  Because good looking, ambitious, young men in the Vineyard Town just aren't single (with a few exceptions, of course).  The Vineyard Town is a family town.

By December of 2008, I wore down and agreed to go on a double date with Shoes and one of my co-workers, who had begun to date one of Shoes' co workers.  I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea, but we went on this double date ... to our Juvenile Justice Center's Office Christmas Party at the home of the Detention Manager.

Really?  Seriously?  Who in their right mind thinks this is a good idea?  I would never do that again: put your first date on display for all of your professional colleagues to gawk at.  And the date?

Terrible.   Absolutely terrible.


Shoes spent most of the night outside talking to his co worker and I spent most of the night inside talking to my old Detention friends.  The rest of the night included:  extremely icy streets and  a car accident because of it; a very heated argument between Shoes and HIS co worker about Catholicism; and the icing on the cake?

It took Shoes a year to tell me he initially thought he was agreeing to go on a date with someone else.

Really.  Truly.

Of course, the flip side of that story is that once I walked in the door, according to  Shoes, the entire game changed and he was paralyzed with intimidation.

If he didn't say that, I might have to step on his foot.

I walked myself home that evening thinking, "Well.  He's a good looking guy.  And one who ignored me for the entire night. So that's that."

And then a few days later we went out on a different double date, which went a little better.  He actually took my phone number at that date.

And then a few days later we went out on a different double date.  And then again.  (We went out on a ridiculous number of double dates.)  And then, miracle of miracles, we met at a cellar downtown for a glass of wine.  By ourselves.  We took things casually and slowly for a couple of months, and then at the end of January / beginning of February, we went to the Judge's retirement dinner together.

And that retirement dinner was the official beginning of Shoes and Lisa, the Couple.  Not the casually dating couple, but the official couple.

And the things I love about Shoes are amazing and wonderful and quirky and largely private in the way that they would only make sense to us.  But I'll give you the Readers Digest Version.  Sure.  Shoes is:  gentle, kind, supremely loving, only 30 times more intelligent than I am, witty, hilarious, humble, giving to a fault, the same type of political ideology that I am (and for us, who have made our entire lives about people, this is a very big thing which is inherently tied up in my religious beliefs).  That's probably the biggest thing.  I know that Shoes and I partner together, as a couple, to fight social injustice.  (And don't get all caught up in the fact that he's a deputy prosecuting attorney.  This guy gets kids and family interactions better than I do sometimes. I enjoy telling that part of the story.)

I love the fact that I have these stories to tell.  And I love hearing other people's stories about how they met their significant others.  If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear it ...
Me to Shoes:  Are you full up with books to read right now?

Shoes:  Yeah, but what do you have?

Me:  "Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood.

Shoes:  That sounds like a chick book.

Me:  It's dystopian.  I don't think of dystopian novels as chick lit.

Shoes:  It's a dystopian chick novel.

Me:  The end of the world is a literature that appeals to the feminine?

Shoes:  In the, "Oh my god, there's no more "O Network" or "Real Housewives of New Jersey" and the world doesn't have anymore yogurt covered raisins" type of dystopia.


Shoes:  Ok. Give me the book.
I've worked at OHSU for a year and a half now, and while I love my co workers, it's been a labor of love for many other reasons.  I am so very grateful to be employed, but this rural social worker was completely unprepared for the cold, cold world of being at the top of the Very Large Hospital's research bureaucracy and politics.  (Key word:  research.  I have no frame of reference for Healthcare).
I'm sure it's no different than what happens in any other large corporation / bureaucracy and I have tons of respect for the PIs, Researchers, Administration and for the excellent, excellent research that's being generated from this top notch hospital.

I'm an office assistant.  In the truest I-make-coffee-make-mail-runs-if-you'd-like-to-speak-to-the-Vice-President-you-gotta'-get-through-me-first type way.  It's not bad work.  It's just largely uninspiring.  And it's a student position:  the pay is decent and they've been extremely understanding and flexible with my graduate student schedule.  I've made some amazing friendships through the office.
And.  (Because just like most things, it's usually "and" and not "either / or").  It hasn't always been good.  In fact, my first official functions had me in tears almost every day (for many complex and intersecting reasons) and during our nightly conversations, Shoes begged me to quit.  But what do you do when you only have so many hours during the week you can work and the pay is decent?  What you have to.  Earlier this Spring I found out that they really needed me to be there consistently in the afternoons, which I absolutely cannot do, as I'll be counseling kids when they get out of school.

In the afternoons.  And that is when I knew my time with the hospital was probably coming to a close.  And for all the flexibility and genuine well wishes of my co-workers, I knew it was time.  It was relieving.  But I also knew I needed to work, and my schedule next year is going to be out of control.  Very few employers are that patient with my limited availability to show up at a job.  It's been a tough Spring of job searching and worry, in the midst of everything going on.

I'm sure you've figured out where all this is going by now, but I've just accepted a position with Psychiatry as a Research Assistant.  Still with the hospital, but pretty far removed from what I've been doing.  Nights and some Saturdays, doing kid and family assessments.  It couldn't be more up my alley.  I'm excited to put it on my resume.  I'm excited to do the work. 

And.  Like I told Shoes in December of 2009, there's a reason you stick through things and work it out.  Sure, there comes a time when sometimes you have to just move on from certain things, but I had a hunch it would work out if I plugged through.  I'll work both jobs until September, save a little money for the event that will legalize my Coupledom with Shoes, and then transition out.  A little more plugging through, but a little hard work never hurt anybody, right?

Right. ;)