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Join us at the Finally Forever wedding expo!

We are thrilled that marriage equality has finally come to Illinois, and even more so that a recent ruling has put the new law into immediate effect.

Finally Forever wedding expo

Please join us in celebrating and get started planning your wedding at the Finally Forever wedding show this Sunday, March 9th! The Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is bringing together all kinds of vendors, including us, to help you get started on planning your big day. DJs will be spinning, caterers will be giving out samples, and we’re told the wine will be flowing! Over at the Crafty Broads table, we’ll be giving away a free budget strategy session to one lucky couple – so stop by and chat with us!

This event is FREE and open to ALL couples, because equality is for everyone. Click here to register.

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Cake Cutting

Cutting our (homemade) wedding cake – July 5, 201

Three years ago, we got married. It wasn’t legally binding, and if it had been, it would not have been recognized in the state where we live nor by the federal government. (But we ate cake anyway!)

Two weeks after that, we made it legal with a visit to the Cambridge, Massachusetts courthouse – where the first same-sex wedding in the United States took place in 2004. In Boston’s Public Garden, a real Justice of the Peace from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certified our marriage. (And then we ate a swanky, delectable French dinner.)

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Getting legally married in Boston Public Garden.

Two years and four days ago, the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act went into effect, and we celebrated our first anniversary with an upgrade from legally unrelated people to members of a Civil Union.

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First Anniversary at the Pier

This year, we are celebrating our anniversary as federally-recognized spouses, thanks to the repeal of DOMA. Illinois is on the brink of becoming the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage (keep your fingers crossed this fall), and there are some cases making their way towards the Supreme Court that could result in marriage equality nationwide. That is a damn long way to come in three short years.

And we promise, when it happens, we will be throwing one kickass party.

For the time being, though, we’re eating Turkish breakfast, hitting the beach where we got married, grilling some burgers, and celebrating what we’ve got right now.

Third Anniversary at the Pier.

Third Anniversary at the Pier.

The Closet

We’re not in it. You probably knew that already. Today is National Coming Out Day. And so, we’re saying it, out loud, in print, on the internet where nothing ever really goes away:

We are gay!
We’re on an incredibly true adventure of two girls in love.
And we even got married.
Yes, if these walls could talk,
they’d be bound to say we are
the real ‘L’ word.
We’re here, we’re queer, and you’re already used to it!

You may think in this day and age that being a letter in the LGBTQ (that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) acronym is no big deal… and you’re right.

But you’re also wrong. Because there are still plenty of homophobic people out there. And there are plenty of people who don’t think they’re bigots but actually; they are. They’re worse, if you ask me. You know the ones – they “love the sinner, but hate the sin” – they say they love you, but they really refuse to respect that you were born this way.

Anyway. The point of this event is to raise awareness, which in turn will lead to equal rights for all of us. That’s the thing – many people voting away our rights believe they don’t know any LGBTQ people and we must all live in the liberal cities or something, but we are EVERYWHERE. And we are just living our lives. And we would like to have the same rights as everyone else, the rights to which we are entitled, and which we are denied by DOMA and similar legislation at state levels. And we would like to live without fear of being attacked for simply being who we are. And we would like to be treated as equals, without needing to prove our marriages in order to see our loved ones in the hospital, or spend thousands of dollars to create legal documents which protect our families, the way heterosexual couples are automatically protected, with just $35 and a 3-day wait at the City Hall. We would like these things not because they benefit us personally, but because discrimination is wrong, plain and simple.

We know that we are preaching to the choir here, but know that you are important in this fight. It’s just as critical, if not more so, that our straight allies come out, too! Because, let’s face it, we’ll never win the majority vote alone. Ask someone what they mean when they say, “That’s so gay!”; don’t stand by silently when someone makes a derogatory remark; tell your grandma how awesome your gay best friend is. COME OUT WITH US, and promise to do it again next year, and the next, and the next, and the next, until homophobia is gone.

We leave you with the immortal words of Harvey Milk:

“If they know us, they don’t vote against us…
Brothers and sisters you must come out!
Come out to your parents; come out to your friends, if indeed they are your friends.
Come out to your neighbors, come out to your fellow workers!
Once and for all let’s break down the myths and destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake, for their sake…
On the Statue of Liberty it says, ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free’.
In the Declaration of Independence it is written – ‘all men are created equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights.’
So to all the bigots out there – no matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words from the Declaration of Independence!
No matter how hard you try, you can never chip those words from the face of the Statue of Liberty!
That is what America is! Love it or leave it!”

p.s. All those movie links in the bold part at the top? Totally worth watching. Though if you check out the L Word, we recommend you just watch the first two seasons on repeat six times and spare yourself the agony of seasons 3-6.

Cake, Cake, and More Cake

Boy do I feel sorry for people who don’t (or can’t) eat cake. Because I love it. And it’s come to pass that the tail end of summer and the better part of fall seems to be cake-making season for me. There are so many occasions to celebrate, and as I’m sure you know, I hardly need an excuse to bake. Let’s take a look back at last year’s sweets:

July
Our Wedding Cake
Vanilla-Almond with Berries & Pastry Cream; Devil’s Food with Mocha Whipped Cream; Pumpkin with Ginger Buttercream

August
Devil’s Food with Mocha Whipped Cream, for Julia’s brother Joel’s birthday

September
My birthday. Can’t remember exactly what I made, but I do remember it was the ugliest cake ever to emerge from my kitchen. Pretty sure chocolate and strawberries were involved, but it was a sloppy mess.

October
Ellen mentioned cake on facebook, so Julia told her she should come over and I’d make her one, and a few days later I did. Sadly, I no longer have any recollection of what kind of cake it was…
Green Tea Cake with Red Bean Paste filling for Alice’s birthday (which was light and delicious and really needs to be made again soon). And yes, I know her birthday is in July, but this is when we all had the same free spot in our schedules to actually get together and celebrate it.

November
Would ordinarily be a month for making Julia’s birthday cake, but last year I made pie. Apple pie with FRESH FIGS. It was the BEST. PIE. EVER. Almost made me convert to a pie-as-dessert-of-choice girl. Almost.

The cake schedule is a little lighter this year, thankfully. But Joel’s birthday came around again, as birthdays do, and so there was a Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll (gluten-free!) with strawberries added to the whipped cream filling.

I should have probably made a cake to celebrate the arrival of our new niece, Sophia, on August 16th, but I don’t think she’s picked a favorite flavor yet…

And last night we threw a party to celebrate marriage equality in New York. [Yeah, I know we live in Chicago, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, or whatever, so eventually it’s gonna walk this way, right? Plus, we were raising money for LAMBDA LEGAL, and you can never go wrong with that. And, you know, we’re still not equal enough. And further more, we were celebrating in solidarity with a bunch of other people at other parties all around the country. So. A party was had. Cake was eaten. Champagne was consumed in copious amounts. Drunken neighbors crashed. But I digress, as always.] Ahem.

So. Naturally, I made some Marriage Equality Cake. The purple side is Devil’s Food with Mocha Whipped Cream (are you sensing a pattern here?) and the green side is Vanilla-Almond with Apricot-Almond filling. Both were quite tasty, and I’ll be eating the leftovers all week.

Which brings us back to my birthday. I’m just gonna let you drool over what I have planned:

Twelve Layer Mocha Cake

I’ll wait while you pencil in the date on your calendar. That’s September 18th, my place, 3ish. See you there.