Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Costs of Urban Life

Over the past few months, I've been keenly aware of the changes that my fair city has been undergoing. Seems that we're transitioning from being a quaint little city to an urban mecca. I've blogged in the past about my struggles with how to respond to homeless people while downtown, so I won't dwell on that topic for too long here. Seems like there are more and more homeless people around us both downtown and in the suburbs, and that makes me very sad.

Our city is also dealing with other problems -- like a seeming increase in senseless violence. Yesterday at the beginning of rush hour, there was a shooting downtown, one block from where I wait for my bus and three blocks from work. I walked past the multitude of police officers and incident responders on the way to my bus as my mother called in a panic. Seems that I was unaware that this was a shoting (with the shooters still at large at the time) instead of an auto accident (as I had assumed). News helicopters buzzed over head, and I was anxious to get on the bus and return home to my natural habitat (I'm a suburban girl!).

My coworkers and I discussed this incident at length today, touching on the senselessness of the violence, but also touching on our increased awareness of the activities that are going on around us... from drug deals in broad daylight on the streets to gangs to to people shooting up on every floor of the parking lot where many of us park our cars. It seems that nowhere feels safe any more.

I ask you this: how do you reclaim your city? How do you make it so that you feel safe in the places where you live and work? What does that process look like? Is this what it means to be in the big city (although, these things are happening in the small towns too!), and is this a culture shift that we have to accept in the changes of our piece of urbana? I seem to have a lot of questions, and not a lot of ideas on where to go for answers...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wedding Photos: Round I

So, we got the prints back from the disposable cameras that were on the tables at the reception -- some good photos, some not-so-good photos in the bunch. It's fun, however, to get other people's perspective on the event. View the photos here.

We also took a ton of sunset and sunburn photos while in St. Thomas. (Seriously, I was wearing SPF 50 the whole time, and I got a major sunburn... go figure!) You can view those photos here.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

As Seen In the News...

... Okay, so as seen in the Brae Burn Newsletter. Nonetheless, we're famous:

Wedding Bells. Proud parents and associate members, Harry & Beth Cummings report that their daughter, Jill Cummings, married Lennie Majors on July 14th at Bellevue First Presbyterian Church. Reception was held at the Bellevue Hilton Hotel. The groom’s dinner was held at the Brae Burn Clubhouse, on Friday evening, with 60 family members and out of town guests attending. Family members from Alaska brought 35 lbs. of fresh salmon that was prepared on the clubhouse grills. The couple left on Sunday for a honeymoon in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. When they return they will live in Bellevue.”

You heard it here first: we're married! We actually tied the knot! It was a hot July day in Bellevue, with just the right balance of clouds and sunshine... (although, with nine million layers of wedding dress, is there really a perfect balance of clouds and sunshine?) It was a beautiful way to start our new journey together as man and wife.

I'd especially like to thank all of our friends and family who were there to celebrate the beginning of a great marriage. We're very blessed to have each and every one of you in our lives -- and we're eternally grateful for the impact that you've had on both of us. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

I'll try to post more photos in the coming days of the wedding weekend... stay tuned!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Holy Gucamole!

Less than two weeks before the wedding! Yikes! There is soooooooooooooo much to do, and seemingly so little time to do it in... Deep breath... deep breath... I can do all of this... I know it! :-)

To all of those from out of town who are reading this: can't wait to have y'all come in for the wedding -- we're looking forward to seeing all of you!