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close up glasses on the table

Sometimes, the universe just provides (with the generous help of stepmothers, fairy godfathers and the Yakima thrift store industry). So the glasses pictured above, numbering 114 (plus 18 champagne coupes) represent the total haul we were able to bring back from Yakima this weekend.

Here’s a better picture:
glasses on the table

And here’s the whole tale. Morgan and I took the day off work on Friday to head up to Yakima, Washington with two goals in mind.

1. Morgan wanted to confab with his father around the menu. They had a list of 30 or so potential dishes and they wanted to narrow it down into a menu of about 4 to 5 distinct, delicious courses that were catering equipment friendly. Which meant cooking and tasting all the various possibilities.

2.I wanted to check out the dishes that Morgan’s stepmom Christina had already collected and do a brief thrift store tour to see if I could pick up any more good deals.

Kira and Chris had just gotten back into town, so they decided to hop in the van and join us for the trip. Carson and Melissa met us over there as well.

We had a wonderful evening Thursday night spending time with everyone and hearing the stories of the great world travelers. Morgan’s dad Jim got to try on his suit (a perfect fit!) and the younguns stayed up late getting re-acquainted.

On Friday we woke up to the news that Morgan’s dad’s kitchen manager Tony might have some cut glass serving trays that we could borrow, and had invited us over to take a look.

So we piled in the car and headed over- I thought we might find one or two pieces we could use but hey- any little bit would help. We were, after all, outfitting a wedding for 100 people.

When we got there it was like stepping into a peacock fairy wonderland. His house was decorated with wonderful flamboyant style- bold colors, lots of gold and beautiful collectibles everywhere (even two giant floor vases full of peacock feathers!)

He had pulled out some dishes he thought we could use, and everything was GREAT. He had silver serving trays, cut glass salad bowls, luncheon plates, EVERYTHING. If I saw something I liked, he’d say “I think I have about 20 more of those. How many do you need?”

It was unbelievable. So we walked away with several large stacks of dishes to borrow. Truly a blessing- he was like our fairy godfather! He also works in the theater in Yakima, so it felt like we had a kindred spirit contributing to the wedding.

After that excellent head start I was anxious to get out and get some dish shopping done, and Morgan was anxious to get working on some sample dishes for us to taste when we returned. So we split up- Kira, Chris, Carson and Melissa coming with me to shop the thrift stores.

I couldn’t believe the prices! My budget was about $1 per item, but most places you could find stuff for $ .50 to $ .75 per piece.

We found a bucketload of silverware at the Value Village- a mixture of real silver, silver plate and stainless with cool patterns:
lotsa forks

We had heard that there was a 50% off sale at a nearby St. Vincent de Paul store, so we headed over there and LOADED UP, only to discover to my chagrin that it was a Saturday sale, not a Friday one. D’oh!

So we headed back to Morgan’s dad’s place where Morgan and his dad had whipped up some mango jicama salsa to kill our munchies while we were waiting for the rest of the “tasting menu.”

We spent the next 6 hours tasting our way through lots of gorgeous dishes (but I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what, exactly).

The next morning Christina and I headed back over to St. Vincent’s, where we loaded up three carts worth of glassware and plates (without breakign $100). Took it back to the house where everybody pitched in on getting it all loaded up into the back of the car (almost 15 boxes worth!) We drove home exhausted, stuffed, and with our van loaded down to the gills with glass and porcelain of every description.

Sunday I unpacked the boxes, combined it with what we had already collected, and discovered that, except for a few small items and some silverware, we were basicly done collecting all of the servingware and flatware for the wedding. It’s kind of unbelievable when you consider that’s over 400 separate pieces of dishware.

Plus, we came home with a revised menu that we all feel is both delicious and pretty workable with the equipment we have available.

Such a huge relief to know that we’re so close to done on at least one small aspect of the wedding. Yay!


These pictures just in from Kira and Chris, who are working with the tailors right now on the suits for the wedding. Chris gets to be guinea pig (good thing most of the groomspeople are as skinny as he is!)


Here’s the back of the vest:


Now I just have to get on the stick and pick out bridesmaid dresses.
Yeesh. So many decisions.

I promised some pics of Jack and Trisha getting measured and here you go:

Check out the miniature buddha belly!


Our tailor friend really had to stretch the tape to get around those monster pectoral muscles. And speaking of pectoral muscles:

Trish left the tailor in quite a state trying to figure out how to politely get her chest measurement!

Two more fun photos for good measure.

1. Debi goes down the slide at Horning’s Hideout:

What you can’t see in this picture is the huge drop off right at the end where the slide dumps down into a mini canyon. YIKES.

and 2. Morgan being very proud of his handiwork:


bringingclassybackThe last time Kira was in Thailand, she had some local tailors make custom 3 piece suits for Morgan and his brother Carson (pictured in his three piece suit on the roof of Artists Rep).

This inspired Morgan to organize a three piece suit fashion show as his Self Expression and Leadership Program project (one of the workshops presented by Landmark Education– a FANTASTIC program we’ve both been through). The picture to the left was taken to promote that fashion show by our friend Chris McCollom, a phenomenal photographer.

The fashion show didn’t quite work out according to plan, but our mutual love affair for three piece suits has not faded. After all they are so elegant- what man doesn’t look effortlessly charming in a three piece suit?

kiraandchrisinthailandSo when Kira headed back to Thailand and Vietnam (she’s there now, check out the pic of her and her boyfriend Chris in utterly gorgeous tropical splendor) she offered to arrange for all the groomsmen (and woman) to get custom (also called “bespoke”) suits made while she was there.

Why get suits made instead of just renting tuxes?
Well, beside the obvious idea that every man could use at least one well-fitting suit in his life, it turns out that you can get custom suits made in Vietnam for under $100. So for less than the cost of renting a tux you can get your own suit, cut to your exact measurements. Pretty fabulous, eh?

image989The plan is to get suits in brown, but to keep things fun and special, imagesto have the inside of the jacket lined in peacock blue thai silk and the back of the vest lined in goldvionsetie-165x170the bright orange thai silk. If you’ve received a wedding invitation, these should be familiar colors. Our hope is that as the groomsmen get hot (it is, after all, a June wedding), they will shed their jackets and reveal the colorful backs of their suit vests.

This week we’ve been arranging to get all the measurements done for all of the groomsmen. This is slightly more complicated than it sounds, because Vietnamese tailors need the measurements in centimeters instead of inches, and we had to download a special expanded measurements form from that even asks questions like “how sloped are your shoulders? Do you tend to lean forward or backward when you walk? Its crazy. It was also a bit of a challenge to find someone who would do the measurements if they weren’t going to be making the suits. But we found one. So,

Morgan and his friend Trish (the groomswoman mentioned above) went on Thursday to the European Master Tailor, a charmingly accented gentleman who had tiny shell encrusted whale figurines decorating his tailor shop, and got measured. The “Master Tailor” has his shop in, of all magical places, Morgan’s Alley, right along side Portland’s only custom millinery shop (she makes bespoke hats- who does that anymore?) and a shop selling art and jewelry made out of blown and fused glass.

Saturday, Morgan’s mom Debi came down to visit and we took my son Jack to get measured. He looked so solemn and proud getting measured. We took some pictures and I’m going to try to post them when I find them. Afterward we teased him that he was not allowed to grow for the next 4 months now that he’s been measured.

This is actually a real concern- he’s just recently outgrown all of his school clothes and I’ve been sending him to school in SWEATPANTS.

I cheerfully told him he’d have to wear rocks on his head for the next few months and sleep in a box so he won’t grow. His response was typical:

“Oh, mom, stop. You’re not gonna make me sleep in a box.”

Afterwards we went out to Horning’s Hideout to show Debi the wedding location. It was great fun to tromp around in the mud and imagine what it will be like when the wildflowers are blooming and all the foliage has come back to the trees. creekside15Or, at least it was fun until we got stuck at a place in the creek where there used to be a bridge (it got wiped out in the post snow floods). Morgan and Jack nimbly found fallen logs to run across to get to the other side. Not wanting to prove myself the wuss I really am, I gamely tried to do the same- and ended up up to my waist in the creek when I slipped off the log!

Fortunately the creek was neither very deep or very cold. It still made for a very WET ride home.

And a good reminder that something like this:
sam-edelman-gilda-gladiator-sandalis probably going to be a better choice for wedding day footwear than this:


For you as well!