Tag Archive | wedding

Farewell 2012 – Can’t Wait for 2013!

As I sit here on the couch listening to the washer and dryer run, waiting for Jon to finish playing with paint samples and put the movie in (yes, I’m well aware of how lame we are…), I decided to do a little 2012 tribute blog.  Some of the year was great, some not so great, but I suppose it can’t all be rosy.  So here goes, in no particular order…

1.  I hit my one year anniversary at my new job, a job where I feel valued and appreciated and love my co-workers!

2.  I went on an amazing trip with Jon… nine days in Georgia, North and South Carolina.  The longest trip I’ve ever been on with him!  You can read about it from the beginning here

3.  My wonderful Martini kitty, my feisty girl with a protein allergy who loves sneaking meat and hates being brushed, was diagnosed with low grade diffuse alimentary lymphoma.  Cancer of the blood cells.  We started chemotherapy treatment in November, and I was heartbroken.  So far, Tini is hanging in there.

4.  I celebrated my two year wedding anniversary with my fabulous husband Jon.  We didn’t do anything special, but our trip was our anniversary celebration (see #2 above).

5.  I went to Michigan to visit my Grandma, who is 95!, and to attend my cousin’s wedding.  And I got to see many of my aunts, uncles and cousins!  I’m really lucky to have the family I do.

6.  Jon and I got to visit some fantastic exhibits at some great museums.  Gauguin at the Seattle Art Museum, King Tut at the Pacific Science Center, all the wonderful collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the interactive musical experience at the Motown Museum.  And all the amazing historic home tours that we visited on our Grand Tour!

7.  I completed my third half-marathon!  And it was for a great cause!

8.  Jon and I went a fun wine tour in Washington and Oregon for the President’s Day long weekend.  Wine, historic hotels, and even some antique shops!

9.  I got a promotion at work!  Talk about felling valued and appreciated!

10.  We went on a fun long weekend trip to Chelan, where we tried lots of great wine and had one of the most fun and memorable drives home ever!

So, while the year certainly wasn’t perfect, and there were some ups and downs, I feel pretty blessed to live the life I do.  Here’s wishing that 2013 is an even better year for all of us.  Happy New Year!

Wedding Mania!

After not being to many weddings in a while, I have now been to two in two months’ time!  One in Washington and one in Michigan!

So, remember the purpose of our trip to Michigan was two fold.  My cousin’s wedding – and visiting my Grandma.  Saturday, September 8th was the wedding portion of the trip. The wedding was two parts – the church wedding was at 2 pm, and the reception was at 5 pm.  We had a relaxing morning on Saturday reading, surfing the net and working out in the workout room in the hotel (hello treadmill!).  Then we got ready to go and heading out to the church – St. John the Evangelist at Michigan State University.  The service was beautiful, and the church was more progressive than other Catholic churches I’ve been to (bongo drums!).  The choir was fantastic – and they really had fun with the hymns.   It is in this same choir where my cousin met his lovely fiancee (now wife).

After the wedding, there were a couple of hours before the reception.  Jon and I went and got some coffee and perused a used bookstore that had all sorts of fabulous Civil War books!  If I lived there, I would probably visit it regularly.  But I behaved myself, and left without buying anything.  I already have a tall stack of “books to read.”  Several stacks, if you must know…  I blame the fact that I have to have a full time job.  If I had that anonymous benefactor, I wouldn’t have to work and would have way more time to stay up on my reading.  And these blog posts would probably be a lot more timely too…  Just sayin’.  Click here to donate to my PayPal account (just kidding!).

So, after killing a bit of time at the bookstore and the coffee shop, we headed over to the reception, which was about 15 minutes away in the next town over – Grand Ledge.  It was at the historic Grand Ledge Opera House.  The building was built in 1884 as a roller skating rink – I didn’t even know they had roller skating back then! – and then was converted to an Opera House around the turn of the century, to be used as a theatre for vaudeville acts and local entertainment.  The Opera House has been converted to a modern facility, but does maintain some of its original charm.

The Grand Ledge Opera House – Promotional Photos – http://www.gloperahouse.com

The reception began out back on the lower Terrace level, where there was a cocktail hour and some light Hors d’oeuvres, and lots of extended family pictures (what can I say – I have a big family!).  We set our wine glasses and purses and cameras down and smiled and posed and laughed and hopefully they turn our marvelously.  I wore my 3 inch heels, so maybe I have a chance at not being completely dwarfed by my much taller cousins.  My cousin’s daughter, who is 12, is already 5’6″ to my 5’3″.  I think my shortest cousin on that side of the family is 5’8″.  Clearly, my mom’s side had the dominant height gene (or should I say short gene)…

Then we headed upstairs for our sitdown dinner.  Toasts were made, jokes were cracked, my cousin’s obsessive love of Star Trek was mocked (numerous times), and our meal was blessed.  And it was delicious.  Dinner included your choice (or all 3 if you wanted!) of potato salad, spinach salad with berries and cheese crumbles and an Asian style salad with sesame seeds, shredded carrots and artichoke hearts.  I didn’t have the potato salad, but the other two were amazing!

Then on to the main courses.  You could have four types of kebabs: vegetarian, chicken, beef or shrimp.  They were all lined with tomato, yellow squash (or zucchini to my mom), and onion, plus the meat selection you chose.  The next table contained a do it yourself mac and cheese served fancy style in martini glasses, with your choice of white cheddar or regular cheddar, and with optional toppings of bacon bits, tomatoes, shredded cheese and something else I can’t remember (maybe green onions?).  After that, you could select your choice of four types of potatoes in ramekins: garlic mashed, mashed sweet potatoes (topped with nuts!), and two other types – sorry my memory is failing me!  Then, if you weren’t already stuffed, you could have baked apples (YUM!) and a pulled pork sandwich.

The Wedding Dinner – Great Food and Lots of It!

Following dinner, there were more cocktails – still your choice of red (Good Harbor – Harbor Red) or white wine (Uncle John’s Apple Honey), beer (Budweiser), or you could have an Appletini! The Appletinis were garnished with a couple of slices of Granny Smith apple.  The Appletinis were delicious – fun and refreshing – and they coordinated with the wedding colors!

So for the rest of the evening, we laughed and chatted and caught up on lives… and I even danced a little.  Hanging out with the family was great – I enjoyed seeing a great couple start their married lives together, and I got to spend time with my family.  What a fantastic day!

The Best Wedding!

I’m thinking back to a weekend in July that was really busy.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted about it until now, but I was trying to get The Grand Tour posts finished up and posted because Jon was joking that I was going to make them last until our next big vacation!  Don’t I wish my big vacations were that close together!  But anyway, in July, Jon’s friend Pablo was up visiting from California, so we were enjoying his company and hanging out.  Plus, our dear friends Katie and Brent got married!

They were having a really low key wedding with a picnic in the park theme, and they weren’t having a professional photographer taking pictures, so they asked me to take some photos while Katie was getting ready, during the ceremony, and at that picnic reception.  Wow that’s tough work!  There’s a difficulty about capturing the action while it’s happening!  Facial expressions change in an instant!  My camera always wants to put the trees in the background into focus instead of the people!  I know why professional photographers just keep clicking the shutter!  Even if the people aren’t moving a lot, they are still moving!

The wedding was so much fun!  Katie and Brent are a really relaxed couple – and they love just kicking back and having a good time.  The ceremony was simple yet beautiful.  Their daughter was the flower girl, and she took her job seriously, planting herself at her parents’ feet for the best view in the house!  Two nephews brought in the ceremony accoutrements.  They were told they could wear whatever made them comfortable, so one was decked on in a Power Ranger costume (complete with mask!) and the other donned his Pittsburgh Steelers gear – complete with helmet!

Instead of the traditional exchange of rings, Katie and Brent did a Celtic or Pagan handfasting ceremony, along with a civil marriage ceremony.  I’ve included more information on handfasting here.  At the end of the ceremony, they jumped the broom too.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Power Rangers Representing

Listening to the Officiant

Saying Their Vows


After the ceremony – the eating and drinking began in earnest.  Barbeque grub included chili, fruit salad, German potato salad (YUM!), a sesame noodle salad, and burgers and brats with all the fixins!  You could have any combination of cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions, sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard and relish.  I had a brat, but kicked it up a notch with cheese, pickles, sauerkraut and mustard.  It was fantastic!  Haggen did the catering – including the grilling, and they were spot on, professional and courteous and on top of refills.  Jon and I had them cater our wedding, and we were pleased with the service, so I’m glad that Katie and Brent had the same experience that we did!

The Chow Line!

Wines included a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from everybody’s friend, Charles Shaw.  I really like the 2 Buck Chuck Sauvignon Blanc, and  Jon is always pleased with the Cabernet.  Beers were numerous and varied, but I didn’t catch what they were.  Katie and Brent tried to get several of the local brews, and a friend of theirs brought in some cases of a Montana microbrew, special for the occasion.  There was even champagne for the toast.

The weather was a perfect northwest day – quite warm but not overly hot, and we played lawn games – badminton and bocce ball!  I tried my hand at badminton, and although I certainly can’t say that I was an expert, I didn’t think I embarrassed myself too badly.  Jon thought it was hysterical to watch from afar though, as the four of us playing jerked and contorted our bodies to try to hit the birdie.  But he can’t talk, because he didn’t get up and play!  There was also a piñata for the kids – in the shape of a frog.  It was a huge hit!

Badminton – No Body Contortion Right at the Moment!

Froggie Piñata

Action Shot – Frog Down!

Me with the Beautiful Bride

It was one of the best weddings I have been to – no pressure, no schedule, no going through the motions.  And it was awesome to see Katie and Brent go from “we aren’t going to get married” to bride and groom.  What can I say?  I’m traditional.  And I love to see a joyful beginning!

Congrats again to one of the most special couples I know.  You will have an amazing marriage and a lifetime of happiness.

Martha Stewart I A’int!

Last night I hosted a Bachelorette Party for my darling friend Katie.  It was a bit last minute, because last weekend I realized that she isn’t having any attendants at her wedding, and her family is out of town, and maybe I ought to throw something together because it didn’t look like anyone else is going to.

What you need to know about me is that party planning is not my forte.  I have a number of strengths, mind you.  I can go head to head with labor unions and deal with a contentious negotiation.  I can analyze compensation and make a recommendation to the Board on whether your pay plan is going to hinder your effort to recruit the candidates you want to hire.  I can pick a Riesling from a Chardonnay and a Gewürztraminer during a blind wine tasting.  I can pronounce (and spell) Gewürztraminer!  I even have some fair photography skills (which I will be using at the wedding next weekend!)  But when it comes to domestic diva stuff, I’m out of my element.

I’m much more likely to decorate my home based on whether I like something or think it is cool, than consider whether it matches.  I have four different kinds of dinnerware, and none of them coordinate!  I’m not a great cook, and I envy people who can throw together an entire Thanksgiving meal effortlessly, and it all tastes delicious and comes out at the same time.  Until I’ve made something 400 times, I still have to follow the recipe.  And don’t get me started on crafting.  I have a friend who has a craft closet, with neatly labeled rows of boxes containing papers, embellishments, different kinds of scissors and 10,000 stamps.  That will never be me.  She has 3 young kids and a full-time job and still manages to send out handmade invitations – to book club!

So, there were no fancy handmade invitations for this Bachelorette.  There were no placecards, no cleverly handmade t-shirt for the bride, and no artful penis cake.  My coworker was appalled that I was not throwing together a signature drink…  Instead, there were fun ladies, lots of laughter, and a cut-throat game of croquet on the lawn.  I did come up with some games, and some prizes for the games, so you can’t say I’m totally incompetent!

Shelley is so Cute When She Plays Croquet!

Katie Plays Fast – It Was Hard to Catch Her on Film!

Somehow, I Won the Croquet Game! This is my Victory Lap.

Fortunately, my friends love me for who I am.  And we celebrated, and talked and enjoyed the evening, and no one thought twice about the fact that was no cupcake stand on my table, and no dessert in wedding colors…  Katie doesn’t care.  Because she ain’t Martha either…  As long as there is spanking wine (that is an inside joke!), we’re all good!