Sara Rashid reports from Grant Park

Our very good friend Sara Rashid was able to attend Obama’s acceptance speech yesterday. I wanted to share her take:

From Sara:
…it was a miraculously warm night out. Beautiful. I’ve never felt so comfortable surrounded by 100,000 strangers. I hate crowds and am always intimidated by them – so much so that, to my embarassment, I actually asked if we could stay home last night. I was scared. Coleman said I was welcome to stay home, but that if I did, I’d miss this century’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I had to give him that one. It turned out to be like being with family. Absolutely nothing but good feelings, warmth, comraderie, and manners. In that massive heep of humans, any and every time someone’s toe was inadvertantly stepped on you heard a prompt apology. That sh*t doesn’t even happen in church. It was amazing.

We declined to push through the masses to be on the “ground floor” (eek! Oprah vibes!), and opted rather to stay on the sidelines. We had a perfect view of everything. Coleman’s sister had her camera; promised to send me pics (which I will forward to you). We had a perfect view of the hotel Obama was staying at (allegedly) and you could see shadows of people on the giant front balcony. Coleman surmised they were Secret Service Snipers, and I doubt he was wrong. That + the amount of police + the constant helicopter rumbling made for quite an intimidating scene, but still, nothing but smiles and ease.
It stunned us how quickly Obama’s victory was announced. He won Virginia (to a roar from the crowd), I texted you, and then BOOM! – the CNN screen we were all watching displayed his victory. It was so unexpected there was a pause in the crowd – and then elation. I cried. I think everyone cried. I’m sure we all had our different reasons. I cried because I was amazed at the possibilities in a lifetime. And because I was proud of him. And scared for him. And because I was proud of us. And scared for us. I cried because I was moved, and happy, and sad (thinking about his grandmother’s death), and, frankly, because I was surprised. I really didn’t have faith. But I do now 🙂
The trip home was gleeful, to put it mildly. People were honking their horns and playing frickin’ bongos and dancing in the streets. Strangers were hugged and high-fived. Donuts were purchased from convenience store employees wearing Uncle Sam hats and screaming right along with the patrons. Every now and then, you’d hear a champagne cork pop. Believe it or not, not once did that sound make me jump. That’s the calming affect this news had, joyous as it was. Suddenly, it felt like things might be alright. On that way home I also realized that not once in my life have I seen our president on T.V. or heard his voice on the radio and been proud. I am now. It’s new and strange and powerful and very, very exciting.

Oh yes, as I’m recalling it all I should say that I thought McCain’s concession speech was dignified, respectful, wise, and kind. It should be noted that our crowd applauded him. To my delight, it should also be noted that our crowd booed Palin 🙂

I woke up this morning unable to process how I felt. I’ve never felt a grand-scale optimism like this. I’m so glad Obama’s speech mentioned the failures and “missteps” that will undoubtedly occur, because I don’t want anyone in the world to think we misinterpret this man as a diety. He’s just a man. But quite a man he is.

But soon the sun with milder rays descends

Everyone says planning a wedding is hard work, but it has not really caught up with us until this summer.
Our wedding is in three weeks. We have our cocktail napkins. The moms, the flower girls, and I all have our dresses. Our flowers, cake, and cake topper are set, and we are looking forward to a wedding at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
We’ve even got more music than we know what to do with ready for instant DJ-ing loaded onto our computers. I’m really excited about all of that. But there are a few stumbling blocks. For one, we found out that our rings are really late! We ordered custom rings from Absolute Titanium. We had pretty rough luck with them for my engagement ring, so we figured we’d have to be proactive about making sure the wedding rings got to us on time. Lets just say that it was a good thing that we’ve been aggressively in touch with them. Apparently, the canceled our order by accident. They confused us with another “Owens” that ordered the same style.

We’ve hardly had time, this summer, to take any fun pictures. Of course, we have the obligatory puppy shots, because that is what dotting dog owners do. The puppies have been enjoying a bit more outdoor freedom now that we have installed a short fence. It is tall enough to keep our little guys in line, but still short enough to maintain our view of the woods. They still bark at everyone that walks by. Why don’t dogs understand property lines?

The summer highlight for sure has been the wedding of our friends Ben and Amanda. The wedding was at an amazing vineyard outside of Amanda’s hometown of Staunton, VA. A gorgeous little old town that deepend my appreciatiuon for my new home state. Take a look. The bride, groom, friends, and scenerly were all picture perfect:

The wedding was a rare confluence of great friends, great booze, great food, and amazing scenery. Utterly unforgettable. The best part was that it was the puppies’ first hotel stay, and they did smashing-ly well.

Coming to terms with the end of October

Holy Crow-where did the time go? Trevor and I had a whirlwind of a month. We booked our florist and reception/ceremony venue. We’ll be working with Urban Sense florists in Milwaukee and the wedding will be at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
We were really happy with the folks we met at both places and are confident that they will be great to work with. We are trying to involve our friends and family in ways that will showcase their talents. More on that later, but I do want to plug a new website set up by our friend Lisa, who will be making our guest book. Check out her gallery as her work is stunning.

After that, we were able to vacation a little at my parents’ cabin in Crivitz. The weekend was a blast and we are so grateful to everyone who braved the trek up there and missed a few folks who were unable to make it this year.


Big Gratz to our friend Chris Holden who just learned that he got his dream job being a professor at the University of New Mexico.

This sounds like Chris’ dream come true and I can honestly say that it could not have happened to a nicer person. Congrats, Chris. You will be missed, but we are so, so, happy for you and Sarah as you continue to make your dreams come true.