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The Family Name

During engagement Kamel and I talked a lot about what we wanted to do with our names. Initially I thought I would turn Dupuis into my middle name and simply be Lauren Perez, but it just didn’t feel right. Actually, both Kamel and I would turn Dupuis into our middle names and Perez into our last, but it just didn’t work for me. So as engagement progressed and we were referring to the wedding as the Dupuis-Perez wedding it became more and more clear that that was how we viewed the creation of our new family. We decided to be Lauren and Kamel Dupuis-Perez.

But! With all of the details of the wedding being out of state (in Seattle vs where we lived at the time in California) and needing to use our passports directly after the wedding AND with Kamel becoming a citizen in November after our July wedding – name changes just didn’t happen.

Then when Kamel started working up here, he had access to legal services. Because we were waaaayyy past the point where I could change my name easily with my marriage certificate we really weren’t sure what we needed to do, so we enlisted a lawyer to advise us on the proper paperwork and process. That turned out to be a giant waste of time. She was super flaky and unhelpful and ended up canceling on us the day before we were going to go to court. By that time we were so frustrated and both working with little free time during the week we decided to wait until after we were done traveling so that we could handle our ID and Passport all in 1 fell swoop.

So on monday, 3 years and 1 kid later – we  dropped Gabe off at daycare, went to the county clerk’s office and set up a court date for later that afternoon. We paid a bunch of money, and together stood up in front of a judge, our right hand raised and legally changed both of our names to Dupuis-Perez.

Name Change

My dad came and tried to take sneaky photos of us, as cameras and cell phones weren’t allowed in the court room. That’s Kamel, and I’m behind the white-haired lady. You can see my head and my red sleeve poking out.

And then it was done and we were officially official. We now have the same name as our kid!

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After the hearing we ran over to the Social Security office to change our names there. That took about an hour. Then we walked over to the Department of Licensing to get our IDs updated. That was terrible and crowded and we stood in a line for another hour even before we got our number.

We still need to update all of our bills and banks and insurance and passport and employers – and a million other things, but we are well on our way!

The best part of the process  was that it felt like renewing our vows. It felt like this really great affirmation that we are family, that I continually choose Kamel and he continually chooses me and now we are even more intertwined. For better or worse. It was also really fun having my dad along with us, somebody else to witness it, somebody else to people watch with and keep us company while we waited and waited for our number to be called.

I’m just so happy to have this opportunity and to be able to experience something as banal as government errands with my buddy. It just takes a slight shift in outlook to turn anything from boring drudgery to romantic gesture. I am so lucky that even the business of life can be an adventure with Kamel.

That night we came home and celebrated with champagne. To names! To the power to change them! To Kamel taking part of me and me taking part of him! Yippee!

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The Long Weekend-ing

This weekend we took Friday off and spent the morning packing, doing laundry, Kamel worked unexpectedly, and after the baby’s nap we headed north to Canada for Kamel’s birthday. I found a sale on the 4 Seasons (Kamel’s favorite hotel chain) and we spent 2 nights and 3 days-ish exploring, swimming, and robe-wearing. This was Kamel’s first time ever in Canada! And Vancouver is so much cooler than I ever remember it being. Here is the breakdown of events: The drive to Vancouver was supposed to be about 2.5 hours, but due to a stop at Target and massive traffic ended up taking 4.5. About 1.5 hours from the hotel the baby...

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Better Than Real Life Advice

Dear Lauren: Do you believe in astrological signs? My son is a Virgo and I’ve read up about his personality type…should I be parenting him in any special way because he’s a Virgo? Or is it all a bunch of crap? Help! Always, Astrologically Confused in NY Oh Astrologically Confused! Your question warms the cockles of my already warm and rather weepy heart! Do I believe in astrological signs? I am obsessed with astrological signs! I have a ram tattoo on my wrist for my sign (aries) and a fish tattoo on my forearm for my son’s sign (pisces). My husband is a Virgo and his Virgo tendencies drive me bonkers, so I am...

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Happy #32 Kamel!

Dear Kamel, In the last 6 months I have seen you grow more as a person, a father, a husband, and yourself than I have seen in the entire 5 years I’ve known you. I look at you and I see my future. Is that what 30s are like? If so they look pretty magnificent. Full of self discovery, career advances, adventures, and major milestones. I like it. Today is your birthday! And I am so grateful that all of the small little choices of both of our lives matched up in such a way where I find myself waking up next to you every day and especially this day. I love you because… … you are incredibly authentic. … you are a fantastic...

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Weekend-ing

I just don’t ever want my weekends to end, that’s my problem. I mean, clearly, this is not a unique issue. My Friday of last week I missed my kid something fierce, I want to to roll in a pit of Gabes. I missed my husband, I missed weekend mornings of not having to BE anywhere. And then it comes and then it goes and here we are on Monday all over again. Harrumph!! This weekend I did a bit of self care – a massage and reiki on Saturday morning while the boys went to a park (and Kamel took a tumble while pushing the stroller and twisted his ankle!) and then later we went to a park on the coast of Lake Washington and threw...

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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