A New Chapter

“So how’s married life?”

This is a question Brian and I seem to be getting a lot, and I’m not sure how to answer it yet. I’m pretty sure, “Oh, you know, we lived with a college buddy of ours in New Orleans for the first month of being married and then drove our stuff 2,000 miles to spend a month in San Diego before going to Virginia for two months and then moving to Hawaii. Just your standard newlywed couple stuff… I won’t bore you with the details,” is not exactly what normal people say. But then, when have we ever been normal?


It was Mardi Gras. Mustaches and silly hats are almost required. 

We’re going through some pretty major life changes right now, so I guess it’s fitting that No Dowry is going to evolve right along with us. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and although I started this blog to record the journey of planning a wedding without selling my soul or my firstborn, I’d like to think our wedding day won’t be the happiest day of our lives and that this is just the beginning of the journey.

I have loved keeping this blog over the course of the last year. It’s an amazing way for me to process what’s going on in my life and keep in touch with everyone from Lil Laverne (hi, Mom) to friends scattered across the country. I hope y’all have enjoyed reading and will continue to follow my shenanigans as a, ahem, Navy wife (yeah, yeah, laugh it up).

The Short Version of What’s Going On

1. Gypsy Travels: Leaving the South

If I haven’t told you my new mailing address, it’s because I don’t have one yet. We left New Orleans on Friday, February 27 and drove like crazy to make it to San Diego late on Sunday, March 1. It wasn’t the most relaxing road trip we’ve ever taken, but it also didn’t result in a flipped car and a trip to the ER, so I count it as a victory (read more about the trip in Brian’s blog).

It was unbelievably hard to leave our friends and New Orleans again. We keep leaving (this is the third time I’ve moved away) and we keep coming back, and dammit, the next time we move back, it’s for good. There are a lot of amazing places to live, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have tried out a good number of them, but everywhere we go, we compare it to New Orleans. No place has the food, the drinks, the people or the culture quite right in comparison, and we can’t think of anywhere else we want to settle down. You’d better believe we’ll be invading the Dirty South again in a few years, buying a kickass house with a big porch and a roomy yard for crawfish boils and eventually raising a couple of loud, crafty, costume-party-loving hapa kids.


Breakin’ it down in the S. Liberty house for our going-away/Rubik’s cube party

2. Gypsy Travels: Moving to Hawaii

Until we move back to NOLA, I am stoked to live in Hawaii. Brian transfers to a new ship based in Pearl Harbor in May, and we are on Oahu right now house hunting. My mom was born here, her parents and their parents grew up here, and we have tons of aunties and uncles and cousins scattered throughout the islands. I have wanted to live here since I was a little girl, and the Navy, in a strange, out-of-character move, has granted my wish. I will spend the next year and a half picking up hula again and spending as much time as I can swimming in the Pacific.


Where we’re staying at the moment (Bellows Air Force Base): the view out the back window…


…and the front

We arrived on Friday, looked at a bunch of apartments right away and found the perfect one on our second day. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big lanai (which we’ve learned is a back porch/balcony area) where we can grill and grow vegetables, tons of storage space and our trifecta of perfection: dishwasher, washer and dryer. It’s also in the center of Kailua, within walking distance of coffee shops, restaurants, bars, grocery stores and the beach. Oh, and a karaoke bar. We already checked it out, and though it did not have “The Humpty Dance,” it did provide “Shoop,” “Baby Got Back” and “Bust a Move.” Sold.


Our friend Heather and I made Salt ‘n’ Pepa proud

We got the apartment almost solely because I am hapa and remind our landlady of her daughter (this is the second time my hapaness has gotten me an apartment– Melia and I shamelessly milked it in San Francisco when we discovered our property manager had a half-Japanese son) and because Brian is an adorable Navy boy who can charm any Chinese auntie.


The complex where we will be living has a KOI POND… for serious

This is going to be sweet.

3. Being a Navy Housewife

OK, not a housewife. I’m taking my sweet Interweb-based job with me so I can continue to work from home, God willing, but we are getting pretty darn domestic. I am positively giddy at the thought of using all of the awesome kitchen toys we got as wedding presents (Salad spinner? Pastry blender? KitchenAid mixer?!), and we’re already planning on going all ReadyMade on our new place. The words “aluminum-lined planter boxes” may or may not have come up in conversation. We might have to give in and buy a Wii, if only to remind ourselves that we are not too old to trash-talk while duking it out on Mario Cart.


Brian hearts mattress shopping

This is all new territory, and it’s a little scary, but mostly just exciting. We’re almost real grown ups! (Bob keeps telling me that if I use the term “grown up,” I am not one yet. Whatever.) I’ll post pictures of our new place later this week, which I hope will inspire you to come visit as soon as possible. Those mai tais aren’t going to drink themselves, people.


1 Melia { 03.09.09 at 12:34 pm }

I think I speak for us all when I saw that I am wildly jealous, but just as happy for you. And that I miss you and Brian, but I know that you’ll come back. But before then, Christmas in Hawaii, woot woot!

Thank God you’re continuing the blog. I had thought that your sweeping and sammich-making duties of a newlywed housewife might take up all your time, or that Brian would put his foot down and forbid it. (Speaking of Property Managers, isn’t that his official title now?)

Ahh, the power of the hapa over potential landlords. Our people would never be late with the rent, Ma’am!

Brian, that Simmons Beautyrest mattress sure lives up to its claims. You’re like a little angel on a bed of clouds!

2 Kathleen { 03.09.09 at 12:48 pm }

My goodness. I second Melia with the jealousy. So happy for you and can’t wait to see photos of the new place.

I’m already plotting with travel websites to send me cheap fares to Hawaii!

3 Parisa { 03.09.09 at 1:59 pm }

Hey girl, I too am glad you’re continuing the blog. I feel you on the getting domestic thing–there’s a planter in our new backyard, and I’m already plotting the herb garden which will provide delicious freshness to all the meals I plan on making. Who knew we’d see the day?

4 Gillian { 03.09.09 at 3:07 pm }

Melia, I can’t WAIT till the fam comes out here for Christmas! You and Darren totally have to stay for a few weeks. We can have a work-from-home partay! Oooh, “property manager.” Snap! Our people are kind of amazing.

Kathleen, you have to visit! It’ll be like our Frenchy adventures but warmer. Check out http://www.hawaiianair.com/ — they have some good deals from California.

Parisa, who would have thought we would turn into Suzy Homemakers? I never would have predicted that… I am really excited about growing fresh veggies and herbs for cooking as well. We should exchange recipes, yay!

5 Shannon { 03.09.09 at 3:38 pm }

Is the invitation to visit/squat on the couch for a weekend extended to your sister’s former peon and his crafty Irish lass? My uncle used to live on Maui (that place is so beautiful, it makes me want to praise Jesus), but I’ve never visited Oahu.

Thank you for the tips on how to milk my future hapa babies for all they’re worth. This parenting thing just keeps looking better and better.

6 Ide { 03.09.09 at 3:56 pm }

Yeah, I guess living in Hawaii will be OK. On a related note, have you told Brian that I’m moving in yet? I figure I’ll arrive when freeze-your-ass-off season hits here in Chicago (around November) and stay until the little birdies start chirping again in the Midwest. (I’m told that’ll happen any day now. Definitely by June.)
If that’s not OK (and I don’t know why it wouldn’t be), please note that I’ve already reserved all of Josh’s credit card points for two tickets to Hawaii. He’s been saving them up for some unrelated manly purchase since he was 19, so I think we should have enough.
P.S. I baked whole-wheat bread from scratch yesterday, so I think I still have you beat in the domesticity department. I really wish I didn’t.

7 lynnie { 03.09.09 at 7:19 pm }

Cousin, I will be making a trip home… though it might be Christmas at this point. :) You’ll have to introduce me to all the Kailua joints (I’m more of a Central Oahu girl, not Windward side).

Also please learn how to speak pidgin. :)

8 Brian { 03.09.09 at 7:23 pm }

Let me just say I never suspected the trifecta of domestic women would be comprised of Gill, Katie Ide and Parisa. Honestly, if you told me that any one of those three would considered “domestic” five years ago, I would have laughed in your face, and they would have slapped you.

While we’re inviting everyone out here Gill, maybe we should establish some ground rules. Maybe like “Visits lasting more than X number of days requires the visitor to be included in the cooking/dishes rotation” otherwise stay as long as you like.

Melia, angle on a bed of clouds is me to a T. I also look like I’m sucking my thumb, which was not the case.

Oh and that aluminum-lined planter box is going to be awesome.

9 Brian { 03.09.09 at 7:24 pm }

That’s right, I said angle.

10 Melia { 03.09.09 at 7:45 pm }

Brian, don’t ever let anyone call you an “obtuse” angle, or make fun of you for sucking your thumb.

You mean squatting in your apartment isn’t allowed? I was thinking about taking up dog breeding, and I had hoped to stay with you while the business was getting started. Is that a no?

11 Gillian { 03.09.09 at 8:34 pm }

Shannon, all friends are welcome… particularly friends who will one day continue the hapa hybrid takeover of the world.

Ide, I always knew our love triangle would continue even after we both moved away from NOLA! You can stay through the winter, and we can make crack biscuits and cakes to soothe any hurt feelings the boys may have from being neglected.

Lynnie, we’ll definitely have to hang out when you come home! I’ll scout out Kailua hot spots, but you may have to teach me pidgin. I may look local, but I can’t pass when I speak :)

Brian, don’t think because we’re all into cooking and playing house that we aren’t still capable of slapping anyone. Remember the Katie Ide motto? “Slap a bitch and drink some more wine.”

Mel, it’s only acceptable if you’re breeding purse dogs to give to Darren.

12 Ide { 03.09.09 at 9:47 pm }


Our love is more like a straight line than a triangle. Unless Ann Hermes is there, too.

Maybe we could do the tour de crack biscuit…in Chicago and in Hawaii. We’ll have the finale in New Orleans, naturally.



Your wife is correct. I can still slap a bitch. Except one who can show me how to properly knead bread dough. I really need that bitch’s advice.


13 Kerri { 03.10.09 at 8:29 am }

Don’t forget about friends reading your blog from overseas! We know how to slap bitches over here in Malaysia…although I probably wouldn’t because they’re really nice, and slapping bitches has to come at appropriate times. All ladies know that.

Your place looks fabulous, by the way! I’m so glad you’re keeping up with the blog!


Oh yeah, and you can count me in on the happa world domination plan :)

14 lauren { 03.11.09 at 9:59 am }

Okay, your A-P-T is F-U-N. Aren’t you just so looking forward to the poll dances Angie and I will be doing on the front porch? Or would that not be in the line of ‘making our landlord happy?’ As long as she’s not a next door neighbor, right?


15 Gilliebean { 03.12.09 at 12:30 pm }

Ide, you had me at “tour de crack biscuit.”

Kerri, you would never slap cute little Malaysian ladies. It would be like hurting Little Linda…awww. So when do you and Shane get here?

Lauren, I’m saving up my $1 bills for you fine ladies! Woot!

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