It's now about a year out, and I'm afraid things are about to start ramping up -- at the same time I am ravenously job hunting. Awesome.
My mom is planning an engagement party, and we've chosen a venue, basically: this really lovely private ranch out near my parents' house. It's a bit of a drive for everyone except my family, but it's got some really really gorge!gorge! trees, a view of Mt. Diablo over the back of the farm house, and they don't have a lot of restrictions as to which caterer we can use, where we have to buy booze, etc.
I have this plan in my head for the feeling of the wedding that I'm not sure Phil approves of or even totally understands yet. Maybe it doesn't even make sense except in my head, but it goes like this:
A kind of old-California style: a lot like an afternoon MFK Fisher would spend outside her SoCal house in the summertime, a little bit of the laid-back-ness-hand-out-the-window of a summer road trip, some rock and roll, some fun 60's jazz, awesome 70's country rock, some spanish-colonial-mission-style prettiness, some "earth's the right place for love"
flowing white fabric in the trees
and a bright flowy banner for the kids to carry to lead the guests from one area to another
blowsy pink peonies + pretty cool-colored succulents + herbs + tree branches + citrus blossoms
poppies and lupine overflowing the edges of the world
owls and quail hanging out and overseeing everything (gog and magog, my blue-green quail buddies have got to sit somewhere)
pressed glass (clear and green and blue and maybe milk)
mission-style wood furniture