Where to even begin?!? Upon our hasty return home from Nepal, life forced us to shift gears quickly. I had booked wedding arrangements in Jackson Hole for a July 1st ceremony well in advance of our departure to Nepal assuming that Carla would say “yes” when I asked her to marry me (which she did a week before the devastating earthquake struck Nepal). We decided to stick with those plans and to have a small, family-only ceremony since there wasn’t enough time to expect friends to travel to such a distant location on very short notice. We would then follow that up in August with a big reception-like party in Denver. So, that’s what we did. However, as if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we knew that we wanted to start a family together as soon as possible given that my thirties were simply a memory and Carla was preparing to join me and begin her fourth decade soon thereafter.
With thoughts of a new, burgeoning Walkley clan on the horizon, we set out to find our “forever home” where we could raise a happy family together. With a lot of good fortune and fortuitous timing, very early on we stumbled across our dream home in the perfect neighborhood surrounded by nice neighbors and great friends. Circumstances somehow conspired in many different ways for us to “win” the house despite ours being only one of five offers made on the house in the three days that it was listed, with at least a couple of them being cash offers.
Unbelievably, an interested party made a cash offer for my loft (which had only been listed four days at that point) the very same day that we saw our dream house, which allowed us to remove our contingencies, roll the dice a bit, and make a highly competitive offer. Carla, being the beautiful and bold Brazilian that she is, decided that we should personalize our offer further, so we also hand-delivered flowers to the then-current owners of the house along with a personal note describing our recent adventures in Nepal and how much we loved the house and that we envisioned raising a family there… a competitive bid, resembling a cash offer, and a very personal plea added up to us buying our new home and we have been happily settling-in ever since.
A very short seventeen days after our wedding in Jackson Hole, we packed all of our things and moved into our new home. Only a month later, we had 120 of our closest friends and family to our reception/celebration party while hosting 60+ of our out-of-town guests at the new house the night before. I’ve always said there’s nothing like deadlines to help get something completed. With many late nights spent unpacking boxes, working on projects, painting, etc., the house was “ready” in time for our guests to help us celebrate the wedding, the move, the next chapter…
It was an exceptional weekend. Our sincerest thank you to all who came to help us celebrate from far and near. We had guests come all the way from Brazil, Germany, Norway and Panama as well as from all corners of the United States. It was very humbling and such a special evening that we were lucky enough to spend surrounded by all those we hold most dear. It was all of you that made the evening so special for us and unforgettable in all ways. Thank you for coming. Thank you for helping us celebrate in such spirited fashion. Thank you for the many beautiful toasts. Thank you for dancing like no one was watching. Thank you for indulging my bride’s request for my brief stint on stage.
And, thank you for your generosity. In lieu of wedding gifts we asked that people donate to help the people of Nepal as they struggle mightily to get back on their feet. We have raised just over $7,000 thus far, which goes a very long way in a country as devastated and destitute as Nepal, which prior to the earthquake was already the 2nd poorest country in Asia (only ahead of Afghanistan) where the per capita GDP is $500 per year! This money is currently going toward constructing earthquake-proof schools in the Solokhumbu region via the dZi Foundation, so thank you for all of your help. You can track donations and the progress the dZi Foundation is making via this link:
And, as if 2015 wasn’t already memorable enough, we are blessed to be expecting a baby girl, McKinley Elizabeth, in March 2016 (name selected by my beautiful wife, although I whole-heartedly support the fitting choice). We are overjoyed and beyond excited for this next chapter. McKinley’s arrival may put the brakes on any plans to return to Chomolungma (Everest) in the near future, however, I will never say never. There remains some unfinished business there, but I think the mountain and I both could use some time-off to rest and recuperate… and, I don’t expect it’s going anywhere. Therefore, it’s on to the noble adventure of parenthood.
So, to recap, thus far in 2015, Carla and I got engaged, trekked to Everest base camp, seemingly got married by Lama Geshe in the Nepalese village of Pangboche, survived a devastating earthquake and deadly avalanche, sold my loft, got married (officially) in the eyes of the state of Wyoming, bought a house, moved, had an incredible celebration surrounded by great friends, and created a life that will soon join us for the next series of adventures… I think I need a nap. I suppose I better do so now before the munchkin arrives… The link below will take you to a bunch of photos from all of the fun had at the wedding and reception/celebration party:
Enjoy! We certainly did. And, as always, please just keep smilin’…