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My parents were generous enough to gift us a new sewing machine. We didn't have one and were in contact with a couple Freecyclers to pick up used ones, which we would hope worked. However, that didn't seem to be panning out and I was growing nervous that we wouldn't have a machine in time to make the 90-100 cloth napkins that we'd desired. Then, along came Christmas.

Now, this holiday is a funny one for both me and Josh. Neither of us are Christian, nor do we believe in a singular god. However, our families do. We grew up celebrating most Christian holidays along with our families and the masses of marketed Americans. For us, these holidays are times for us to gather around the people with whom we share mutual love, support and respect. We're hardcore Santa fans who enjoy going the extra mile for the kids in our families and we both enjoy giving special gifts to our friends and family.

This year, we were having heightened spats with both our parents. The stress and uncertainty of our household finances and other factors was weighing in on both sides. We decided to escape our families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas to spend some quality time alone together, reenergizing and renewing our commitment to each other. At the same time, we were both unsettled with the recent upsets in our families and longed to see lights at the end of both tunnels. My parents gave us that light when they made the first move- they gave us a sewing machine for Christmas. This was their silent way of showing that they accepted our choice to get married and were offering some support.

Although I was extremely relieved to see this white flag, I wasn't quite sure how to react to it. Should we pretend like everything was okay all of a sudden? Should we say "thank you", then go back into hiding? Luckily, my dad summoned up the courage to put the first hand forward. He called Josh and invited us to come over to their house for dinner- just two days before. My brother came into town and the five of us enjoyed dinner and games together. Though the evening started out with everyone on eggshells, we were laughing and hugging by the night's end. My parents both warmed up to Josh, this time without any delusions on either side, and my dad even invited us to come snowboarding with him.

I knew they'd come around in time, and we both agree that there's still plenty more space to make up between all of us before we become a solid family, but we both really happy to see these things happening before our wedding. Who knew a sewing machine could stitch a family together?

    What's our story?

    Tarah works for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and has been living in Sacramento for nearly all of her earthly years. She lead a mostly uneventful life, though she always had a love of written, visual and performance art, holds an interest in politics and still can't resist animals.  Josh is a former punk rock musician who is back in college, volunteers with the Sacramento SPCA and blogs about the video gaming industry at 1Up.Com(Electronic Gaming Monthly). He was born in California and traveled around, mostly growing up in  Reno, NV and Southern Oregon.  With his band, he toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe. After the disolvement of his band and a couple years of contemplation, the groom moved from Portland, OR, down to sunny Sacramento.  A month later, the bride found his platonic ad on Craigslist. He was looking for locals who could show him around town, and Tarah knew just the right places to go. The two started a wonderful friendship that blossomed into the unbreakable relationship they enjoy today.  They share strong values for equality amongst people, humane treatment for animals, using diplomacy before voilence, and respectful care of the environment through personal responsibilty and accountability.

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    Sewing Machine