Happy 8th Anniversary, Allen :)

by Lani Voivod | @LaniVoivod

Eight years ago today I was waking up to “Going to the Chapel and I’m gonna get married” from my CD alarm clock. You were my destination and prize. Eight years later, you still are.

In some ways, eight years doesn’t sound like a heck of a long time. Sure, it’s two presidential terms. It’s enough to give Michael Phelps time and opportunity to earn himself 11 gold medals. It contains bull and bear markets, real estate booms and busts.


When I married you, there was no iPhone, no Facebook, no tweeting, texting, or Netflix. Back in the day, we had hard-coding HTML and these things called jpgs. We wrote in journals – made of real paper! We went to all the hot movies and watering holes in Santa Monica, Westwood, and hip joints throughout Los Angeles. We played and dreamed in our 1000 sq. ft. two-bedroom apartment. You commuted to your post-MBA bank auditing/financial analyst job(s) and volunteered at the Brentwood Library, while I wrote author biographies, took on any freelance gigs I could nab, and did my thing as a sub in the LA school district.

A lot has changed over the last eight years. Still, in the midst of everything, in the living of the every day, it feels like a veritable blip.

Somehow, while we got rid of our debt and stashed cash away for our “big move” to New Hampshire, while we planned for (and had!) our first child together, while we lined things up so we could be official content vendors for Mattel from 3,000 miles away, we’ve pulled off a few miracles together.

  • We made it through the incredibly steep Vail pass during the pitch-black of night, in a giant moving truck, in the wrong gear. (What was with all that smoke, huh?)
  • We found an interim, off-season condo rental for $350/month (everyone said it couldn’t be done!), so we get our bearings in our new state before we found and bought our first home.
  • We incorporated our biz on January 2nd, 2004, saving us from ever having to take a corporate or desk job again.
  • We learned how to parent and juggle and trust each other enough to decide to bring a 2nd beautiful angel into this world.
  • We continue to laugh and challenge each other, learn and grow together in the face of fears, fluctuations, challenges, chaos, and tragedies all around us.
  • We, somehow, NEVER run out of things to talk about. (How do we do that??)

Eight years later, and I’ve got stretch marks and “Rubinesque Voluptuousness” that didn’t exist on our Wedding Day. You’ve seen me at my horrifying, screaming worst. We’ve stirred up, um, unexpected emotions in each other that haven’t been easy to contain (again, I’m sorry about the butter knife incident), and we’ve muscled through the ups and downs of being married business owners – sometimes with grace, sometimes with pure, stubborn will power, and occasionally with nothing but an overtired “Eh, whatever.”

As you know, I think about our past, present, and future a lot. And the truth is, I wouldn’t change a thing. I think we’re exactly where we need and deserve to be. We’ve made a ton of incredible friends and contacts along the way. We’ve pushed ourselves to learn more, be better, and manage without the benefit of regular sleep or schedules. We’re constantly open to new opportunities. We never limit ourselves, and we continue to write our own story in this world. When we hit those succulent, wide-open spaces of clarity, possibility, and creative collaboration, we know in our hearts we’re doing the right things, we’re still “in the game,” and there’s no one else either one of us would rather be with than each other.

Yes, it’s often scary. Yes, we could learn how to manage our stress better. Yes, sometimes we need to step back and put things in perspective.

For the most part, though, I must tell you I’m proud of us, and I’m grateful for our choices. This is fun with you. I love being your wife, business partner, and the mother of your amazing, healthy, blessed children.

When I think of you at the end of that long aisle, beaming, looking so handsome in your tux, with the 3o+ foot stained-glass showcase window behind you, I am thrilled to know what “eight years later” has brought us.

We’re living our dream, honey. It’s a funky, quirky, imperfect, amusing, powerful, potential-filled rodeo of a dream, but we’re living it with wild abandon, nonetheless.

Thank you for being my co-pilot on this wild, wacky adventure. I love you. Happy Anniversary.



  • http://www.kellymahanjaramillo.com Kelly Mahan Jaramillo

    Okay – you made me cry. WOMAN! You and Allen have the same anniversary as Tomas’s younger sister, and they just had their 20th!! As Tomas and I are not married, we do not have an anniversary, just the day that we looked at each other and realized we were more than “just friends”. That was ten years ago.

    Remember the Rumsfeld fliers? Well, Rummy killed the old laser printer, and it was one of the many items out on the curb at Forbes.

    And guess what, guys – we just made the leap, took the chance, and packed it all up and headed back east. I will try to find your personal e-mails to tell you where, but for now we have to keep it vague, as our nutjob landlady is after us for money, to the point where she managed to trump up a bunch of charges, then get a bottom feeding lawyer to clean out our bank accounts. But guess what? My SSDI was finally approved, and the money she took, well, it is against the law to levy the finances of a disabled person. I have a nice lawyer who is enraged at her activities, and he is dealing with it. As you said in your eloquent post, we mush through the nonsense, and manage at the end of the day to feel more close, more trusting. We look at each other and are flabbergasted at where we are, and how far we have come. And Lani, you might say that yes, there are a few more pounds, or yes, there are stretch marks, but neither of us picked these men out of a beauty contest, nor did they pick us in heels and a sash. Tomas did not expect to be saddled with a crippled partner who brings home every little wounded creature she runs into, but he is still here.
    His silence and moodiness I can take personally, or just let it sail. I trust that he will speak when he feels comfortable.

    I like the person I love.

    In the meantime, will you send me your private e-mail so that I feel safe telling you where we are? Suffice to say, we are a two day drive away, as opposed to an eight day one.

    And your description of the move? HILARIOUS! Yes, we had a 26 foot Penske truck with an extra three feet for the bed hauling the Volvo – Rick Sanchez’s old car that he gave to me years ago and I refuse to let her retire.

    I think we will be driving up to se you guys before 2008 is over………

    Lots of love to you, Allen, Joe, and Newbie.

    By the way, I have a threat out to John Williams, so you will be geting that long ago promise of written music soon.

    Lotsa lotsa from Kelly and Tomas.


    The documentary that Tomas scored is finally mixed and finished. If you would like a copy, we will burn you one. We have not moved what is left of our belongings into the house yet, so – no telly. WE have to listen to the mix and be happy before we send it to friends and family.


Previous post:

Next post: