Our Engagement Story

How we got engaged:

To read the full story, click here

We are currently sharing a car as his blew up prior to a camping trip. He needed it yesterday for work so he dropped me off at my job in the morning. He came to pick me up after work. We had talked about maybe working out that afternoon but first we HAD to stop by the garden. It had been a rainy and cool few days and with Yom Kippur, we hadn’t been to the garden in a couple of days. He lured me there with the notion that our watermelon… yes we grew a watermelon!!! might be ready.

That day I had forwarded him an email from the minyan (a lay led synagogue) that we had been attending, suggesting that we should join and do a couples membership. He told me “Whoa, lo0k you have to give me a night to think about this. Joining a synagogue as a couple is a big step. I mean, it says something, especially if we aren’t even engaged!”

I could kick myself! How could I do that?! Scaring off the Sweet Boyfriend is NOT a good idea!

So we proceeded to the garden. I flitted around… picking zucchinis and patty-pans while Sweet Boyfriend is off in a corner. La la la… no worries in the world.

Sweet Boyfriend says: “Babe! Come here! You have to see this!”

I come running. Is it a awesome squash? A yellow patty-pan? I come running. Just as I get to him, he turns around, looks me in the eyes and says: “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

I froze. Holy crap. That isn’t a squash. That is a ring. A beautiful ring.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,” I said.

“Can I put this thing on your finger before I drop it in the dirt?” Sweet Boyfriend said.

Of course. And though, after a touch of canoodling in the garden, I was ready to get back to picking… he informed me that it was all just a ruse to get me there. And there is champagne on ice at home. And we are going out to dinner.

Whoa, can this man plan!

When it was all said and done, he has been planning this for a while. He spoke to my father at break the fast after Yom Kippur, the day before, to get permission. His folks have seen and approved of the ring (and me).

He became a diamond expert and purchased me a stone cut in a vintage style… to match my vintage style… and he proposed to me in the garden we grew together.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


I must brag! We did it! We finished our thank you cards! Finally!

I had been warned that this was going to be the most time consuming and annoying part of the wedding. Every night, writing cards for months. But honestly, I enjoyed it. I love handwriting cards to friends and family. In fact, I have an 80-something year old pen pal in Chicago. :)

But all in all, I am proud of us. We wrote all of our thank you cards and I even made Dan in charge of his friends and family, for the most part, and he completed all of those last night!



(It was also fun because we loved our thank you cards which were designed for us by our awesome invitation designer, Brooke at Paper Candy Prints)

First Comes Love…

Then comes marriage…

Then comes a PUPPY!

The Haykins have expanded to three. Last week, we did our first adult thing since getting married… we adopted a puppy! She’s the cutest little thing ever.


  • Name: Soba Schnoodle Haykin
  • Breed: Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle)
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Temperament: ADORABLE, sweet, calm, and playful

Here are some pics of our new little girl!

Amazing Lighting

If you haven’t seen our wedding pictures yet (they are so amazing, thank you Dox Photo!), you may not have seen our great lighting! Mike from The Conference Experience came out and hung them all for us. We had a specific vision of garden lights hanging across the room. This was the design on our amazing invites (thanks to Paper Candy Prints) and we wanted to carry it through the whole event. Unfortunately it was pretty costly to rent these type of lights. SO Dan and I found them online at PartyLights.com and used a C7 string and G40 bulb (if you wanted those technical details). They were very low wattage which created a nice glow in the room and the awesome McNichols Building left up some illuminated art around the room. In addition, Mike added some up-lights and lighting for the band. His cost was VERY reasonable considering some of the quotes we got AND that he had to screw in 500 bulbs! I knew the wedding resale market  is pretty good and that I could sell them after wedding… what I didn’t realize was that Mike would want them for his arsenal! So if you are looking for a similar feel as my wedding, be sure to call Mike! He has it! :)

Here are some pics to get an idea:

Reception lighting.jpg


Reception lighting 2.jpg

Reception lighting 3.jpg

Dance Floor lighting.jpg

The Name Change Game – Part 1

Name Change featured imageHello ladies! In all my post-wedding glow, I have been trying to get some business done! That involves changing my name to Haykin (something I was very excited about but did not do without thought). It is kinda a jungle out there when it comes to name changing. There are a lot of resources but I found out somethings while I was doing it that I thought I would share. This is only the first part (as evidenced by the title) because we are tackling the credit cards and bank accounts next. Be sure to come back for that information.

Ok, let’s get started. The name change game actually begins BEFORE you get married, at least in Colorado. While I cannot verify this for other states, I will tell you how it works here and you can be prepared to ask the right questions.

  1. Marriage License:
    This is a key part of changing your name. You can’t do ANYTHING without it. When we went to get our marriage license, the clerk asked us if we wanted certified copies. Why would we need them, we asked. Well, it turns out that some places want you to mail them a copy of your marriage license (though I have not yet run into that) but additionally, I felt a heck of a lot safer carrying around certified copies than carrying our ACTUAL marriage license around. When we picked up our license, we ordered three certified copies. See if you can do this as well, as it will save you time on the other side. It already took weeks to get the license back… I would have been sad to wait for copies too.
  2. Social Security Card:
    This is your first stop once you have that marriage license in your hand. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. You can’t do anything else until you are in the SS system with your new name. As far as I can tell, the Social Security Administration does not take appointments for SS card issues. That means you have to stand in line. It took me 2 hours (and I got there before they opened) to get to the counter and talk to someone. My advice here? Read this PDF on how to change your name with Social Security and fill out the form at the end. Bring it with you to the office. This speeds things up because if you don’t, you will have to fill it out on-site. Notice they ask for SS numbers of your parents… yeah, I had to call my mom about that one! I don’t know how it works if you don’t have that information. Here is the document: Application For A Social Security Card. To find your local office, go here. At this appointment, you will need to bring:

    1. Marriage License
    2. Driver’s License
    3. And if you haven’t been there before… bring your passport just in case. They sometimes need evidence of age and US Citizenship and it can’t hurt to be prepared.
    4. Your application form

    This process can be done by mail or in-person. I recommend in person because you cannot do anything else until your name is changed in the SS system. Once you have completed it on-site, you know when you can proceed to the next steps! You will not get your new card on-site. That takes a few weeks but they will give you a letter saying that it’s happening with your new name.

  3. Driver’s License:
    Here’s something I didn’t see ANYWHERE when I was looking up how to change my name… You cannot go from the Social Security office to the DMV in the same day. I had set myself up to do that and was told I had to wait at least 24 hours for the system to update. Yikes. That means two separate days in government offices. Also, at least in Colorado, you can make DMV appointments. That is great! I was in and out in 20 minutes! Remember to check with your local DMV for their requirements. This is only based on my experiences. Once you are there, they will ask for all your documents and process you. If you wear glasses, you will get the vision test again and then they will call you up to take a new picture (SMILE) and sign your new name… yes ladies, sign you new name so practice before you go! :) Once you have waited 24 hours, here is what you need to bring to the DMV:

    1. Your old driver’s license (they will punch a hole in it because it isn’t valid anymore but I kept mine since my credit cards are still in my maiden name… weeee! I get to say maiden name!)
    2. Marriage License
    3. Letter from Social Security or your card (but really they will just look you up in their system)
    4. CASH OR CHECKS! Most DMVs will NOT accepts cards! Bring cash or checks. It costs $21 in Denver, Colorado.
    5. Proof of address if you have moved. This includes:
      • Utility bill IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Pay check stub IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Credit Card statement IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Mortgage or rent document IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Tax document IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Homeowners/renters insurance policy IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
      • Vehicle registration IN YOUR NAME WITH NEW ADDRESS
  4. Your Work:
    This last piece I have for you is somewhat vague. Of course, let your work know that you are getting married and planning on changing your name. In my case, my husband came onto my insurance so there was a lot of paperwork to do. To change the name with our payroll company, I needed a marriage license  and  a copy of my new social security card. The best idea is to speak to your HR or Finance folks and ask the questions. Every workplace is different but don’t be afraid to have the conversation. In my office, I also had to put a work order in with IT to get a new email address. Who knows when they actually with start using my last name! :)

Well, that’s what I have for your today. Stay tuned, I will update you on the next steps!

Best. Wedding. Toast. Ever.

I have to just gush for a minute. My brother gave the best wedding toast ever. We were incredibly honored by all the toasts our family made. However, in particular, my brother gave a hilarious speech. Here is his speech, minus the hilarious ad libs. He had all of us rolling in the aisles and then tearing up. Oh and that picture? That is the hilarious fellow in the flesh, Ronin A. Davis. Click here to read more of his writing.

If you aren’t sure just how amazing it was by reading it, check out the video! Thanks to Matthew Moore of Flat Face Films!

Ronin giving a toastA Toast to Dan and Talia

How do you write a wedding speech for your sibling? I am not uncomfortable with public speaking, our father’s a Rabbi, all he ever wants to do is talk to large groups of people, you kind of get used to it. But this is new territory for me.

I thought of the typical formula that I had picked up from movies.  Funny and/or embarrassing childhood anecdote about the wedded sibling
(Remember that time we set up a lemonade stand on our driveway and instead of lemonade we had a polaroid camera and were selling “glamor shots”)

followed by a sentimental nod to your relationship
(we’ve always been so close people thought we were twins)

and end with an acknowledgement of the spouse
(welcome to family Dan, you really seem like a great guy who clearly hasn’t seen the full extent of our father’s gun collection).

But circumstances conspired that Talia and I didn’t have the typical big sibling/little sibling situations that others had.  By the time I would have had her teachers (recognizing my name, asking me to say hi to her, making me feel insecure by regaling me with their constant praise of her) I was attending a different school or living in a different state than my sister.

When i went to high school she went to college, staying in Florida while our family moved to Colorado.  But just because I didn’t have my big sister there in person, it didn’t stop me from calling her, with a calling card, from the school payphone whenever I was upset (no cell phones yet, though Talia helped me get my first one four years later!).

Now believe me, Talia and I have fought and argued and it is not fun to be around the Davis siblings when they are stressed out at the same time.  But I think the true nature of our sibling-hood can be seen in how we were punished growing up.

After one of our arguments our mother got fed up and made us sit in the center of the living room floor with the soles of our feet touching.  Can everyone picture that?  She said we had to stay there till we made up.  So we sat and scowled at each other, argued some more, complained about this stupid punishment and then silently brooded for a bit.  After a while we decided to pull one over on our mother.  We’d pretend that we made up and that everything was ok.  So we hugged and smiled and Mom let us go back to our rooms… where we angrily shut our doors on each other.  Except we were not that angry anymore.  And honestly I don’t think we even remembered what we were fighting about.  To this day I just recall working together and thinking we were very clever…though looking back I think Mom may have been the clever one.

But when it comes down to it, Talia has been, if I may be so cliche, a lot more than a sister.  She’s been my friend, my travel buddy, and my co-worker.  We’ve lived together, shared a room…and a sink (much to her chagrin).  We’ve been each others co-pilots, counselors, and whatever you call the person who lights a fire under your ass.  We’ve shared our toys, our friends, our interests, and perhaps most shockingly, we almost died together (or were almost very seriously injured depending on your vantage point).

Talia, in one of her fearless adventures, traveled to LA to act.  Unfortunately it was LA, a place that repels Davises.  So I came out, packed CiCi (her Honda Civic) so full you couldn’t adjust the seats and we drove (she drove) back to Colorado.

As we drove through an unexpected blizzard in New Mexico [? – Arizona], her car spun out when we tried to avoid a semi that had gone off the road leaving the giant truck portion blocking half the street.  We spun, and spun, and spun.  Neither of us are clear on how fast we were spinning, we both just watched the corner of the truck inch closer with every spin.

We were silent.  We did not look at each other.  I was focusing calmly yet fiercely on the truck in an attempt to will it to hit my side of the car.  As I found out later, Talia was trying to will the truck to hit her side of the car.  When the car finally stopped spinning we sat in silence.  Staring out into the darkness, peppered with the occasionally gleaming flakes of snow as they passed in front of the headlights.

At some point we looked down to the console between us and saw that we had been holding hands the entire time.  Only at this realization did we finally look at each other, smile…and begin laughing.  Laughing hysterically.  Laughing at life, laughing at what was just avoided, laughing at our confusion and skewed perception?  I don’t know.  But we laughed – then drove very slowly to the nearest hotel.

I should note that neither of us cried, screamed, yelled, or panicked.  And I have a feeling that at least one of those actions would have creeped in had we not been together.

Dan, this story was to explain to you that you’re marrying someone whose brain power is so incredible that she was actually able to stop a moving car.

And Talia, this story was to remind you that love works best when it has company.  I don’t care about the facts of that near accident, the love we have for each other is what kept us safe.  It is amazing when you can find someone to willingly share your love and who will share their love in return.

Thank you, Ronin, for such an amazing toast.


And we are back!

Hello! I would say sorry for the hiatus but I’m not. We are back from our amazing honeymoon and getting back into the swing of things. I can’t believe it all happened, that we pulled it all off, but man… it feels great to be married!

In case you missed it, here is the New York Times article on our engagement. It came out the day we were married… more to come!


Talia Davis, Daniel Haykin

Dox Photo
Published: March 10, 2013

Small Garden, Big Yield: A Marriage

Talia Hava Davis, the daughter of Iana Kade Davis and Rabbi Bahir Davis, both of Lafayette, Colo., is to be married Sunday to Daniel Solomon Haykin, the son of Elena Haykin and Michael Haykin of Centennial, Colo. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is to lead the ceremony, with the bride’s father participating, at the McNichols Building, an event space in Denver.

The bride, 31, will take her husband’s name. She is the senior manager for marketing of the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, a nonprofit fund-raising group for Jewish organizations, in Denver. She graduated magna cum laude from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla., and received a master’s in public relations and marketing from the University of Denver.

The bride’s father is a rabbi in Lafayette, where he also runs Rocky Mountain Hai, a spiritual group, of which her mother is the administrator. Her mother also works in Lafayette as an executive assistant to the chief executive officer at Ilantus Technologies, a security technology firm based in Bangalore, India. The bride is the stepdaughter of Danielle Davis.

The groom, also 31, works in Denver as an investment adviser with his father, who runs a private financial investment firm in Centennial. The groom graduated from the University of Rochester. His mother retired as an electrical engineer in Longmont, Colo., at Seagate Technology, the hard-drive maker.

The couple were introduced by a mutual friend in early April 2012. Halfway through their first date at a Denver wine bar, Ms. Davis texted her roommate. “This is the man I’m going to marry,” she recalled texting.

A week earlier, Ms. Davis had acquired a small plot that needed tending at the community garden at Ekar Farm in Denver. By their third date she recruited Mr. Haykin, along with one of her friends, as gardeners.

Mr. Haykin showed up with garden tools. For several hours they worked.

Every Sunday they returned to the garden for “a big weeding date,” he said with a laugh. “We’d get dusty and dirty, and got blisters.”

They also stopped by during the week to water, and six weeks after the seeds were planted, they sprouted, along with their relationship.

“I was leaving for a trip,” the bride said, “and he took me to a cute bar and blurted out that he loved me. I started to tear up and said that ‘I love you, too.’ ”

In September, with the garden in full bloom, Mr. Haykin proposed with a ring hidden inside a gardening glove. “Babe, come here, you have to see this,” she recalled him saying from where he crouched behind a couple of plants.

“I came running, asking if it was a squash,” she said. He stood up with the open ring box. She froze.

After she said “yes” at least a half-dozen times, he quickly tended to matters at hand. “Can you put this thing on your finger before I drop it in the dirt?” he said.