Getting a little emotional
And yeah, he loses it a little
Mike and Jessica, who married us
Nana and Zack
Tekla and Julie's grandparents
Dean and wedding bunny ears
The kids experiment with photography.
I'm still looking for pictures of young Master Cross in his little suit (which came off pretty quickly, as he delayed the ceremony with a little fussy episode). Also, there don't seem to be any pictures of Burt, since I guess he was taking most of the pictures!
Technical difficulties with the video at the moment, but for now, here is the text of our ceremony.
Mike Dunn's speech:
“Moawiage. Moawiage is what brings us together today…”
Dear Friends & Family,
It is marriage that brings us together today. But that is only the order of the day, the event we are here to celebrate. It is so much more that brings us together today. It is Julie. It is Jeff. It is Zack. Today is only possible after 10 years of events and occurrences and awakenings and heartaches. Jeff and Julie met in college and Jeff was smitten from the start. They became close friends over those 4 formative years and after graduation, Julie realized what had been right in front of her all along. Julie and Jeff dated for two years and through that time grew up a lot together and discovered many things about themselves and each other. And as we grow up and develop, our ambitions shift and change; as we discover things about ourselves we become more and more who we are. Those shifts and changes brought Jeff & Julie to a place where they parted ways. But that time they had spent together had a deep and profound effect on each of them and as we see today, they never forgot about that time, or how they felt about each other.
So years go by…Julie & Jeff follow those ambitions and they take each of them to so many places…New York, somewhere else, and eventually California. Jeff & Julie had kept in touch over those years, those moves and time & space eventually brought them together again a little more than a year ago…In San Francisco. And upon seeing each other again, face to face, there was that spark. Julie spoke of a lightening bolt moment upon seeing Jeff again. She took one look at him and it rang in her head as clear as a bell, “I should be with Jeff Cross.” That original spark, from years ago, was there, waiting to burst forth. Waiting, biding its time until the opportunity presented itself again. And on seeing each other again…that spark blew up, EXPLODED! And a month later, Jeff came down to Los Angeles to visit Julie…to explore that spark again. Many of you may know about Jeff’s desire for Empirical evidence, in all situations, and that’s what Jeff wanted, Empirical evidence, of that spark igniting again. I’m not going to speak about this evidence…that’s for Jeff and for Julie. And they got it. I will say though, that that weekend, while the sun came up Jeff said, “So, I guess one of us needs to move and I guess it should probably be me.” Sounds like proof positive to me!
So Jeff moved to Los Angeles and he and Julie were together again. And it was everything that it had been 10 years previous, and more. From all that they had learned, from all the challenges and victories and losses, they had become more themselves. And those two people love each other as they had years before, but more….more deeply, with more zest and vigor, just more of everything. And that more is here before us today. Zackary Aldwin Cross. Zack is the more that Jeff and Julie are able to share now, something that they both desired very deeply, more…of themselves and each other all at once. Aldwin, Zack’s Middle name is an Old English word that means “Old Friend”. It seems appropriate; he is the result of 2 peoples love and that love is the result of their deep and very long friendship. Zack is named after his parent’s first and best relationship; the fact that they are and always will be, old friends.
It has taken many years to come to this particular moment. And there are so many things that had to have transpired over these years to create this moment. But I am so thankful for all of those things, joyous as well as tragic, because I see nothing but Love in front of me here today. Jeff and Julie loving each other. Julie and Jeff loving Zack. Zack loving Julie and Jeff. And all of us loving them, so much. And our love for them inspired by so many things…For finding each other, for growing together, for standing on their own as individuals, for finding each other again, and realizing that they were meant to be together…even if it took them a while to figure it out. And for loving each other enough to turn that love into more love. And giving us and the world the gift of Zack. All of these things, all of these people standing before you…and our love for them…make the world a better place.
It’s an amazing thing we’re doing here today. Anyone can get married in the flush of romance, but if you can get married when you have a 10-week-old baby and the romance is somewhat on hold, then that’s really saying something. Although seeing Jeff as a parent has made me fall in love with him in a deeper way. It’s so wonderful to see Jeff as a dad. When we first met Zack at St. Joe’s, Jeff was holding him, and he got all choked up, and he said, “You’re such a beautiful little dude.” He is so fascinated and delighted by our baby. And I know that Jeff’s dad was probably like that, at one time, about Jeff, and really, I’m like that about Jeff, because Jeff is a beautiful dude. So it’s a great continuum. And I am so happy not only to be marrying Jeff but to be marrying into Jeff’s amazing, and amazingly huge, family. We are not exchanging rings tonight, and we thought that might be something we save for the East Coast version of this ceremony. I know his family means so much to him, and the gigantic continent between us is kind of an annoyance in terms of planning.
I wanted to write something that really captured how much I love Jeff and how much having him in my life is a completely amazing thing to me, but since we’re taking care of a newborn, who I feed approximately every 40 minutes, my brain is not entirely in working order. So I searched through our emails to each other from before he moved down to LA, hoping to find some great turns of phrase from when I used to be able to string sentences together.
We saw each other again on February 18th, 2007. Three days later, on February 21st, I called him to admit that I was completely crushed out on him, and I am so, so glad I made that phone call. Of all the crazy chances I’ve taken in my life, that one paid off the best. On February 22nd, I wrote in an email:
“Seeing you was like getting whacked in the head, after all this time. I heard your footsteps on the stairs, and then I was in your arms, and it was honestly, honestly, THAT crazy moment that we see in movies. I finally got it: Jeff is awesome. As clichéd as it sounds, I probably just wasn't ready for you when I met you. Why would I ever want to go out with someone who totally supported me, really got me, made me feel great, liked my family, laughed at my jokes, and rocked my world beyond rocking in a very special way?”
Several times we both tried to play it cool. Later that day, as I was trying to calm myself down, I wrote:
“Let's not get all our eggs into one basket and swing the basket around over our heads and then jump into a volcano.”
I bring that quote up because it’s sort of funny to think now that well, that’s exactly what we did. We put all our eggs into one basket, got really excited, swung the basket around over our heads like crazy nuts, and now I’d like to welcome you all to the volcano. Because Jeff just jumped right in there with me, and this whole thing has had such a spirit of joie de vivre—and that’s why throwing together a wedding in a week is just so right on for us.
On February 23rd, I found a Bible quote that seemed to sum up our situation.
"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly."
Since we’re not having a religious ceremony, I just thought I’d throw that in to give props to the Bible and all its wisdom.
There were so many emails between us that I’d be reading them for a long time and then realize, “Oh, that was ONE day.” I actually could not finish reading them before this wedding. I always used to say I could talk to Jeff for a million years. Of course, in that million years, he would probably tell me the same stories many times, but that’s okay, because I often don’t remember them so it’s often like hearing them for the first time. I think this makes us the perfect couple to grow old together.
When we dated a decade ago, I urged Jeff to take a stop motion animation class, and from that class, he got a career. He gave me a packet of letters I had written to him while I was in Japan, when we were just friends. And reading those letters, I realized I was kind of a funny writer. So we have traded inspiration and found potential in each other that we didn’t know we had. And now we’re creating a home base together, and there is just nothing like a happy family life to ground you for the fight ahead. I’m so excited about Team Cross.
On March 27th, I wrote:
“This is truly, truly special. It's unique. I want to say very unique, but as we all know here in the smarty pants circle, there are no degrees of uniqueness. This is one of a kind, a rare and precious gem. I may not be able to modify the word unique, but I can still go on and on about it in an attempt to really drive home the point that this is like nothing else ever that happened to me in my whole life since I was born and I can't even freaking believe it's happening now--except that I'm soooooo ready for it that my shock and surprise are more aptly expressed not as, "REALLY? ME?" but as "FINALLY! MEEEEE!"”
I love you so much and I could not imagine a better partner or a better parent. You have made me so happy and your spirit of adventure, the way you have taken care of me this year, your kindness, sensitivity, sense of humor, and crazy smartness are all such great things to come home to every day. I just think you’re the best person in the world, with the possible exception of the person we actually made together.
I was pretty nervous the night Julie and I saw each other again. It had been seven years since we'd seen each other, maybe three since we'd spoken, and that conversation was exactly the one you don't want to have with an ex. She was feeling great about her life being on track, and I wasn't. So when Adam and I hopped in the taxi that night, we'd already stopped for a nip of liquid courage.
Feeling talkative, I told the cabbie exactly what we were up to. "Going to see an old girlfriend. Haven't seen her in seven years." "OhhHHhh," she said, "don't do it!" Fortunately for Zack, I'm made of sterner stuff. Vodka.
Three days later Julie called and left message saying she she never should have broken up with me and that in one way or another she'd been thinking of me for the past ten years. Basically the best message any ex-girlfriend ever left for anyone.
In a way our new adventure together is so beautifully simple, almost obvious. And yet I go over it in my head all the time. It's like between Julie and me w ere the gears of a gigantic clock, through which we could only glimpse each other for the shortest of moments as the gears turned. And Julie picked up a rock, tied a string to it, and threw it juuust right so it sailed through each brief opening in the machinery and landed at my feet. And when I picked it up, suddenly the string went taut and the colossal machine that stood between the two of us and our own happiness smashed and exploded and fell to the ground in thousands of pieces, revealing that the clock was made of spun sugar the whole time.
It's familiar, and it's new! I just can't say that enough, it hits me afresh all the time. We get to romp and joke in all our old ways, and all the stuff that didn't work years ago, well somehow we learned how to do it. I was having fun in Berkeley, but I was stuck. I was too afraid to build a complete life for myself, partially because I thought I didn't deserve it or I thought I'd lose it, but mostly because I didn't think it could work out. I saw myself stuck in a catch-22, I couldn't find someone to join me in my struggles because I felt I needed a victory to catch the attention I wanted, and I was feeling too lonely to find that victory on my own. But Julie already knew me, and knew me deeply. I didn't have to concoct a way to impress her, I had the unique luxury of being completely myself.
And she's so sweet now! Right in our first weekend, in the interest of full disclosure, I laid down some problems I was bringing to the table: debt and back taxes. On her next visit we were waiting for a table at a sushi place, and she mentioned that I needed to take care of these things. I felt that familiar clench in my chest, the anxiety and defensiveness that enabled me to ignore these issues for so long, but before it could even take shape she looked me in the eye and said "I completely support you, I totally have your back" and my chest unclenched. This, really, was what I'd been waiting for, what I'd needed. (And I'm happy to say I took care of all the money stuff, but anyway...)
Getting back together had another amazing benefit: all that we'd gone through before suddenly had new meaning. For years I had thought of our time together as a disappointment, and now that's all been turned around. So Julie actually made my past better, and I never thought that was even possible.
We've still got a lot of victories to fight for, but the path to them is so much better now. At Julie's behest we grabbed at the biggest adventure of them all, and now that adventure can grab you back with his tight little grip. I'm convinced that having a child really is the best thing life has to offer. I knew that already, thanks to Adam and Jeannette and their two rugrats over there, watching them grow up has been one of the best parent prep courses anyone could have. The only people who have helped me more on that score are my own parents, who braved a tropical storm to be here today. I love watching Zack and Julie together, watching his first and foremost love develop around someone I've loved for half my life.
So, sweetie, it's time to get married. I remember a phone call we had way back, after we were just being friends but before we'd fallen out of touch. You were chattering away and I was only half-interested, and I noticed a bit ruefully that even after all that had happened, something about the sound of your voice just made me feel calm, relaxed and content. Now I get that all the time. When I see you walk into the room, or look at the hollow of your neck, or watch you with Zack and see a smile light up your face, I think "my love rests here. I'm home."
The "Will Yas"
(Mike and Jess alternated asking us these.)
Will you Jeff:
--Buy ice cream for Julie in the middle of the night?
--Burp and change Zack when Julie is too tired to move?
--Go food shopping, since you love it and Julie hates it?
--Continue to be the best possible dad Julie could imagine, concerned for Zack’s safety, fascinated and delighted by his development?
Will you, Julie:
--Continue to allow an entire room dedicated to Legos in your home?
--Ensure that Jeff never again neglects his taxes for years?
--Occasionally say funny things when you are half asleep that leave you both laughing for twenty minutes, gasping for air and pounding your pillows?
--Continue to be the best possible mom Jeff could imagine for Zack, devoted to his nourishment, physical, emotional, and intellectual?
Will you, Jeff:
--Continue to be the grounding force in Julie’s life?
--Not only accept Julie on a deep level but revel in who she is?
Will you Julie:
--Continue not to save Jeff, but to use the strength your presence gives him so he can save himself?
--Keep on making Jeff feel every day like you did when you made that phone call?
We said yes to all of this, and then we were pronounced man, wife...and baby!