The Moores Pop Up

New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day are two holidays that can easily turn into big letdowns. Both holidays often lead to disappointment when hopes are unfulfilled with unmet expectations.  Jamie and I have decided that these holidays (and every day for that matter) will be what we decide to make them. So this year we decided to have a Valentine’s pop up flower shop.  There is nothing more classic than chocolate and flowers on this holiday, so we joined forces with Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, and set out to make the day special for whoever would stop by.

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The thing with having a little pop up shop, is that you don’t really know what to expect, who will come, how many flowers to purchase.  It is so different from wedding planning and design where everything is perfectly calculated and scheduled down to the minute.  I pre-ordered a large amount of flowers, but the week of the event I panicked that I hadn’t ordered enough.  So every morning at 5:00 I went to the flower market and purchased more garden roses, poppies, anemones, blackberries and other textures to make the bouquets unique.

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By the end of the week I wasn’t worried about having enough product… my thoughts shifted to “what if nobody comes!?”  Looking back, I had nothing to worry about.  Our day was filled with a constant line of people that came to celebrate the holiday and get flowers for either their loved ones or themselves.  We completely sold out by the end of the evening.

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One of my favorite parts throughout the day was just connecting with people. It was encouraging to see guys wanting to pick out something perfect for their girlfriend or wife. It was amazing to meet people who loyally follow us on Instagram. We had the opportunity to reconnect with past clients who stopped by to say hi and show their support. Several kids brought us Valentine’s Day cards that they had specially made just for us.  Even my own brother who I haven’t seen in several years surprised me and made the trip up to Seattle with his family.  And… our little nephew, Jackson, came by and attempted to steal my Valentine away from me and win Jamie’s heart with some candy and a kiss. I didn’t have a chance once he showed up… no one can compete with how cute that little guy is.

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As I stood on the sidewalk making bouquets I had the opportunity to talk with the different people that had stopped by. I realized halfway through the day that every bouquet represented a story.  Some bouquets represented stories of love, and the flowers were going to be a component of a romantic evening.  Some bouquets represented stories of courage, and people were getting flowers to take to loved ones fighting cancer or other illnesses.  Some bouquets represented joy, and people wanted flower just to brighten someone’s day.  Other bouquets represented stories of loneliness, and people shared with me that they didn’t have anyone to bring them flowers and so they were buying a bouquet for themselves.

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It was a beautiful day filled with a lot of laughter. I can’t think of a better way to spend the holiday than working together with the one I love, creating something beautiful, serving people and spreading love throughout our community. We might have felt like kids playing store… but it really was our favorite Valentine’s Day we have ever had.

And a huge thanks to Katie Parra  and Mitch from Cabfare Productions  for spending the day with us and taking these photos and creating this film.  We love your work and value our friendship with you both!

Seahawk Pride

Sunday night was an amazing evening for Seattle.  The Space Needle was lit up with green and blue lights, and the top boasted an enormous flag with the number 12 right in the middle.  The streets were filled, horns were honking, fireworks were being lit and people were screaming with joy.  Our team had won the Super Bowl, and there was much to celebrate.

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The last time I watched a Super Bowl, I was ten years old.  I rooted for the Broncos because my brother told me too.  I didn’t know what was going on, so I wore my Broncos t-shirt and hat, cheered when my brother cheered and ate the snacks our mom had prepared for us.  I might not have been a football fan, but I loved that day.  It made me feel close to my brother and united by our excitement for the day.

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That same sense of unity has been all over Seattle the past few weeks.  Everyone has been wearing Seahawks paraphernalia.  Store windows and doors were marked with a number 12 and decorated with green and blue. Planes have been flying overhead with large flags.  People felt connected by their common desire to see the Seahawks win, and even strangers would offer friendly waves and join in conversations with each other.  There has been a new sense of hope and purpose.  The city has seemed happier and full of life.  It has felt healthy and refreshing, and the essence of what true community is about has been displayed.

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The energy was even infectious enough to get Jamie and I excited for the game.  We aren’t huge football fans but we do love to bake, and so we showed our support in our own special way.

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Although my knowledge of football hasn’t changed since my last Super Bowl experience 24 years ago, I sure knew better than to root for the Broncos this time.   Even though we might be what they call a “band wagon fan”, it has been fun to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and take pride in our city and what our team accomplished.   I hope the pride, energy, unity and hope  that has filled the Seattle air, doesn’t quickly dissipate, and that people can retain some of the joy and sense of community we have all felt.

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Congratulations Seahawks on an amazing and well deserved win!


After the Wedding: lessons from a little red vespa

This past weekend we had the most perfect weather for a winter day in Seattle.  The sun was shining bright, and there was not a cloud in the clear blue sky.  It felt like spring had arrived  a few months early, and so we decided the best way to cap off a long week was to take our red Vespa out for its first spin of the year.

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While Jamie zipped around our Queen Anne neighborhood, leading the adventure, I closed my eyes and welcomed the cool wind on my face.  These rides are good for my soul. They quickly clear my mind, fill my heart with peace, and I find myself lost in the moment, dreaming about our future and feeling inspired again.  Although getting a moped was 100% Jamie’s idea, this recreational toy is probably the best gift I’ve ever surprised her with.  It’s been a source of joy, laughter and adventure in addition to teaching me a few lessons about marriage.

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1. Listen for the things that your partner dreams about, their wishes, and the desires of their heart, and then look for opportunities to make those things happen

When we moved to Seattle last spring, Jamie casually mentioned how fun it would be to have a Vespa.  Initially I chalked this up to just a day dream,  but then I quickly realized how serious she was.  It’s not that she continuously talked about it… I just saw her head turning every time a moped passed us.  I often found her looking at Craig’s List to see if they had any Vespas listed. The thought of scooting around town on a moped made her light up and come alive, and I couldn’t ignore it. I knew I needed to make it happen.

I’ve come to learn that if I listen carefully and if I am attentive to the little things, I will know my wife’s heart without her needing to spell it our for me.  It brings me joy and shows her love when I can then  find tangible ways to let her know I’ve listened to her heart and I’ve heard her dreams.

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2. Don’t be selfish

I had been saving  some money to buy a new piece of furniture I really wanted.  I love buying furniture for our home.  It gives me a rush. Although Jamie loves having a beautiful home, she doesn’t get giddy with furniture purchases like I do.  I think her joy in those moments comes from seeing how excited I get with each new piece for our home.  Once, when Jamie was trying to relate to the kind of rush I get, she speculated that owning a Vespa would probably be the type of thing that would give her the equivalent sort of rush.  I knew instantly that it was Jamie’s turn to feel a rush, and I needed to put aside my own plans and wants and use my furniture fund on this Vespa.  Any other decision would have been selfish.

It’s easy to focus on your own needs, wants and desires, but true love is selfless and makes an intentional effort to choose to put your partner first.

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3. Take turns leading and teaching each other.

I am always the passenger on our Vespa. Always. We often get looks of shock, smiles and comments when we pull up somewhere by people that are surprised that I “let” Jamie drive.  A few people have even gone as far to comment about how brave and trusting I am.  Our culture says that Jamie should be the passenger and I should be driving. (This is where I could go on my rant about traditional gender roles, and how they irritate me, but I’ll save that for another day)

Our vespa provided an opportunity for Jamie to be in control and to take charge using her natural strengths and gifts. Jamie is a better driver, bigger adventurer and greater risk taker than I am.  Her strengths are different than mine and it only makes sense that we take turns being the leader.

I love it when Jamie leads and I take a back seat to her.  When Jamie leads (on and off the Vespa) I have the opportunity to see the world around me.  It gives me a chance to take a break, see the world from her perspective and learn from her.  It also gives her the opportunity to further develop her natural strengths.

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4. Participate in activities that your partner loves, even when they are outside of your comfort zone.  

I’m not the adventurous one in our relationship.  I like doing things that are safe and comfortable, usually within the confines of our home, a really good restaurant or Nordstroms.   Jamie loves experiencing life, trying new things, exploring and just being adventurous.  I am often inwardly reluctant when Jamie brings up a new idea to try; Kayaking… flying on a trapeze, swimming… ice skating… bowling… moped riding…  all of these things initially sounded like horrible ideas to me, but somehow in the end I am (almost) always surprised at how much fun I had.  Every new activity pushes me to new limits, and teaches me I am capable of more things than I thought.

More importantly, doing the things that are of interest to Jamie communicates  to her, that her ideas and dreams are important to me. It also teaches me more about who Jamie is, how she is wired and about the things she loves.  The best part is I get to see her come alive in new ways.  I love every opportunity that allows me to discover more of who she is.

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5. Splurge

The Vespa was a bit of a financial stretch, and I debated if I was being foolish with our money.  I used the money I had personally set aside, but then I also had to dip into a bit of our savings to make it happen.  I decided this purchase was an investment into our marriage, and worth every penny.  I made the decision to move forward, and I’ve never regretted it.

I know this goes against all the books out there that advise you to save your money, be frugal and make conservative spending decisions, but I say splurge!  Devote some of your finances to being generous to your partner.   Craft  surprises and create experiences: Buy those concert tickets… plan that weekend excursion… eat dinner at that expensive restaurant.  It’s worth it.  Obviously be wise in how much or how often you do this, but I think some of my best investments in life have been financial splurges that have created lifelong memories.

Find ways to bless your spouse with something extraordinary.

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6. Have a bit of  fun

I might be the one on the back of the Vespa occasionally saying things like “slow down!” or  “We’re going too fast!”  and “This isn’t safe!”  But really… we have so much fun zipping around town laughing together.  The first time we ventured out of our neighborhood and crossed a bridge to another part of Seattle, we both erupted with so much laughter that I thought we might fall off the bike!  I think we felt like the whole world had just opened up to us, and it was so much fun.

In my opinion, simply having fun, laughing together and just being silly are some of the most important parts of marriage.  It helps you avoid taking life (or yourself) too seriously. It keeps you from being weighed down by the stress of life and the worries of your day.  It makes you feel like you are still kids, and it keeps your relationship fresh.  Some of my favorite moments in life have just been laughing with Jamie.

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I hope when we are gray haired and old that Jamie will still be zipping us around town on our little red Vespa.  I also hope I never forget these lessons and that our marriage continues to strengthen as I put them into practice.

And… these photos were taken last summer by Matthew Land Studios ; we were a bit more layered and bundled up this past weekend for our January ride.  We know some of you will be wondering.