April 30, 2011: Our Wedding Day

The wedding was over 2 months ago (crazy!), but I wanted to give a final recap and tell the story of how the day evolved into our wedding day…

From the beginning we wanted our wedding to be simple, elegant and fun. We wanted it to feel like an elegant party we would have thrown in our backyard, had it been big enough to accommodate everyone. With such a great church and venue within blocks of our house, it almost was like hosting a party in our backyard!

We also knew we wanted to add lots of personal touches and I really wanted to make a lot of things myself. We were blessed to have the help of family and friends to help with all our DIY projects. Our DIY projects included, the invitations, programs, menus, favors, luminarias, ribbon wands, guestbook and the welcome bags. All our projects turned out just the way I hoped, we really were so lucky that our family pitched in to help.

I woke up early Saturday morning, just couldn’t sleep. After a bagel and a shower, it was time to get pretty. I had both a hair stylist and makeup artist come to the hotel to make everyone beautiful. Dave was having his own adventure that morning, a minor parking incident, I think he was a little nervous. I had some nerves too, it was a big day after all, but somehow I knew it would all fall into place. I enjoyed spending the morning with my bridal party as we all got ready.  Dave made it safely to his parent’s house to get ready with his guys. Eventually the morning came and went. The limo got us both to the church and the show was ready to begin!

We were married at the Catholic Church in our neighborhood (2 blocks from our house). The church has a simple beauty inside and represented “us” since in some way its part of our everyday lives (we walk our dog by the church and hear the bells ring every day).

The priest that married us was the same priest that married Dave’s parents some 30+ years ago. It worked out perfectly that Easter was the week before because the altar of the church was still decorated with various pots of lovely spring flowers. We had hydrangeas in colors of blue, purple and white hang from the pews, which were later brought to the reception.

Aisle decorations

The music selection was really important to us as we wanted something beautiful, but not too traditional. Our moms were seated to Ave Maria and my bridesmaid walked down to Simple Gifts. My dad and I walked down the aisle to an orchestra piece from the movie Love Actually, the Glasgow theme. It was lovely to hear the beginning of the song play, but as I made my way down the aisle, the music faded, I was too focused on Dave.

Here comes the bride!

I do wish we had the ceremony on video, it would be nice to watch it again in a few years. Saying our vows to each other was a wonderful memory, a happy moment in my life, declaring our love and commitment to each other in front of our family and friends. Without a video, I do think of that moment fondly, I can vividly picture the moment in my mind. Its hard to picture anyone around us because I just remember our eyes locked on each other, it felt like we were alone saying our vows to each other. And we kissed right after, I think our priest could sense we wanted to seal our vows with a kiss. The homily had a theme of love, working hard to make our marriage work and a nod to us as the ‘other’ royal wedding. And we stayed true to royal wedding form and kissed again at the end, pulling off the double kiss! The song at the end was special to Dave and I, the E.T. flying theme from the movie, something only Dave and I understand, but it was fun to hear our lovely song played as we left the church as husband and wife!

We're Married!

After the ceremony there were a lot of pictures to take. We took pictures with family outside of the church (it was such a gorgeous day!) and then went to a couple different spots with our wedding party to take pictures. There was a time gap between events, but somehow the time seemed to fly by.

Another one of my favorite moments was arriving at the Art Museum and seeing how all the pieces came together for the reception. It really was perfect! From the luminarias to the cake, everything all set out together looked amazing! And just looking around and knowing that my family helped with all the personal touches, really made me feel so thankful. Everything really did come from the heart! I’m excited to see how our ‘guestbook turns out. Instead of a traditional guestbook, my mom put together some fabric squares in our wedding colors, which she will sew together to make a quilt. Guests signed their names or left us well wishes on the squares. It will be a fun thing to display in our house and remind us of our day!

Place Cards

Cake

The cocktail hour was outside on the patio of the Art Museum. The weather couldn’t have been better, we really wanted to be outside and were so glad it worked out. The appetizers, the little that I had, were amazing. Dave and I both wish the cocktail hour could have lasted another hour. It was great to mingle, say hi to everyone and just enjoy the evening.

Cocktail Hour on the patio

Once everyone was inside, we did introductions and had a ceremonial opening of the champagne. As part of a new tradition in my family, at special events we serve champagne in a jeroboam. Once the champagne was popped, all eyes were on us for our first dance. There were speeches and dances with our parents. We enjoyed some of the food and went around to say hi to our guests. We were successful in our effort to say HI to all our guests. We cut the cake (the only bite we had) and then the dancing began.

The Art Museum all lit up!

Love our luminarias!

We had a blast dancing, our DJ played all our requests. It was great to see everyone hit the dance floor (although not to O.M.G. – a dance floor killer). Another one of my favorite moments of the day was the last couple dance songs. Everyone danced around us for Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’, but everyone wanted one more song. So the last song of the night was Daft Punk, One More Time. It was a great ending!

What an amazing day!

Now, this is the part of the story where I should say that we rode off into the sunset, but the night does not end just yet. Somehow we missed the hotel shuttle at the end of the night. Luckily, we scored a ride, although it involved 6 people squeezing into a mid-size sedan. I never thought I would leave my wedding sitting on Dave’s lap in the back of a car, but life is full of surprises. In the end, it was the best ride ever, we were had the radio blasting and were car dancing, it was great! We made it back to the hotel and hit up my Dad’s room to continue the fun! Somehow we had a ton of people stuffed into that room, but of course, were a little too loud for the neighbors. We ended up at the bar with a few other brides and their guests. Again, this might be a good time to ride off into the sunset, but after last call, we ended up in my friends hotel room and were dancing ’till the world ends’, literally.

We did eventually ride off into the sunset. After a “polish brunch” the next day and saying goodbye to family, we made our way to Cape May to relax for a few days, it was lovely!

To celebrate such an occasion with all our family and friends was an amazing experience. We were so glad to be able to share our day with those that traveled near and far.The day was exactly how we had imagined and we loved every minute of it. And finally, we are so thankful for all the help and support from our family, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off such an amazing day without them.

To April 30th!

Love, J&D

I do exist!

I’m alive blog world. Wow, where has the time gone, I’ve been away too long. What can I say, I’ve been busy, no really, I have been! There’s been lots of family time, friends to visit, wedding stuff to do, oh and a marathon to train for. Oh and tons of vegetables to eat (my CSA is awesome). The end is in sight, at least for the marathon (and the tons of veggies), less than 2 weeks away. Note to new marathoners, don’t train back to back, it sucks you of all your time! Running a marathon so close to Thanksgiving is one way NOT to feel guilty about all the calories I’m going to have, I’m a sucker for all the sides, they get me every Thanksgiving.
And the wedding! It’s coming along. Boy, there sure are a lot of decisions to make and lots of details. But I am enjoying the all the build-up, we are less than 6 months away.
Ok, just wanted to give a quick update. I’ll be back to catch you up on my happenings with a bunch of pics.
Later!

Christmas in CA

The weekend before I left for CA, we had a massive snow storm here on the east coast. Here’s a couple pics Dave and I took while out and about on the snow


My trip home to CA for the holidays was fun. Most times it seems like there isn’t a whole lot of activity going on, but sometimes it’s just nice to hang around with family and not really do much. My mom, Jim, Daisy, Grandma, aunt, Dale, and 2 cousins where all around. We had our New Mexican meal on Christmas Eve (posole, red chile, tamales, and tortillas) and then opened our presents. Here is a picture of Daisy inspecting one of my presents, she is the official inspector of quality

Christmas day we all went to church and then enjoyed our Christmas meal. Yes, we had the whole fixin’s – turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with red chile, and pink stuff!

The rest of the vacation was spent playing Mexican train, some Wii, watching movies, hitting up the after Christmas sales, and eating like I’ve never seen food before. I did run one day, the last full day I was there. Not sure why I didn’t get out the days before because the weather out there was fantastic, in the 50’s. The day I got back to the east coast, it was 30 with a wind chill making it feel like 20 degrees out. Brrr!

I miss my family, especially Daisy! Here’s a few pictures of Daisy. Best. Dog. Ever!

April Showers bring May Flowers

It’s been rather rainy in these parts. I know the weather man will say that we need the rain, but it doesn’t really make me want to walk to work or run outside. It’s costing me money to park and making me fat. Ha, I guess really its the laziness in me that is affecting my wallet and waistline, not the rain. Either way, there better be some great flowers out come May!

I’m getting sick, there is a man in my aisle of cubes that constantly comes to work sick. This time he doesn’t even have a voice and he is still coming to work, I really would like to send a memo that he needs to stay home and keep his germs to himself because he is infecting us all! So annoying. 

I’m really glad its April. It’s going to be a crazy month, but I get to see my family, so I’m super excited. A visit to Seattle and then family coming to visit me! And some Easter family time in DE too!

Ok,  off to play in the wind before the storm comes.

Come on baby light my fire…

…this was the last song I heard on the radio, seemed like a fitting title. Why are title’s/subject lines so hard to think of???? I usually prefer the random, has nothing to do with what I’m writing title, really throws the reader for a loop. 

March has been a very long month, I will be very happy when April finally comes around. 

My family lost a very dear person this month, Billie Kennedy, an adopted grandmother to me.  She was a wonderful women, I enjoyed her smart wits, lovely smile, enjoyment of her daily glass of wine, and passion for books. I spent a week in Seattle and really took up reading again, due to Billie’s inspiration of “chapta” reading every night.  I’m much looking forward to heading out to Seattle in April to celebrate Billie’s life. 

Daisy turned 6 this month too, so crazy, my little puppy is growing up. I do miss her a lot, but thankfully she is in the best hands! 

I made my first pot roast in the slow-cooker today. The meat was dry, but the veggies were yummy and if you spooned some of the juices on the meat, it wasn’t half bad. I’m reading this book Julie and Julia (I think soon to be made into a movie) and love wasting time looking at foodie blogs over on tastespotting, so I think all of this is inspiring me to want to learn how to cook and make some tasty food. I think my inner Martha is coming out, that and everyone in my family seems to be awesome cooks, so I can’t let them down, legacy is at stake!

Ok, off to try and set the night on fire!

Like the California Adventure Theme Park (cont.)

On Saturday night, we were hoping to hang out at the local dive bar by the campsite. It was a little disappointing that the gas station bar was not the hoppin’ place we hoped it would be, in fact it wasn’t hoppin’ at all, it was CLOSED! Maybe a good thing.

The last day we packed up in the morning and went to check out Lassen Volcanic National Park. This park is amazing! We only spent a few hours doing a quick ‘drive by’, but I would love to go back. The crazy thing is I’ve never heard of this park and I use to live in CA. We did get a chance to stretch the legs and hike to Bumppass Hell. It was pretty amazing, its essentially an area of hydrothermal activity (steam coming from the ground, boiling mud, water as hot as 240 degrees, nasty sulphur smell). There was this cool boardwalk built to walk on when we reached the boiling mud pots and there was snow still on the ground about 20 feet away.

After enjoying the hot springs mud wraps, we crammed back into the Kia and drove back to SF. We went back to my Mom’s house, showered, showered again, and showered again. It was sad to go, but we headed back to the east coast.

Random items:

  • It was pretty awesome when Dave finally decided to jump into the falls, within 5 secs he had his shoes and belt off and jumped in!
  • It was pretty funny the second and third time Joe decided to jump in, there was a lot of drama, some UGGHH noises, and hair flipping.
  • We checked out the Mt Shasta City street fair and scored some ‘vintage’ tees from 3 years ago for a $1. It’s impossible to find fashion like that for so cheap these days!

Amazing vacation!

Like the California Adventure Theme Park

Finally, an update on my California Adventure.

First off, our vacation was awesome! It was the perfect mix of family, relaxing, seeing new places, doing new things and just having a great time. We were able to hang out with Mom, Jim, and Daisy and go camping with Dave’s family.

Dave and I left at the crack of dawn in order to be able to enjoy a full day when we got to CA. My Mom and Jim picked us up from the airport and we stopped home to say hi to Daisy and enjoy a nice lunch at the Wente golf course. We got our camping stuff together, went to the store for last minute items, took Daisy on a walk, and enjoyed a nice “test” bbq dinner. The next day we were out kayaking on Lake Del Valle and then off to SF to meet up with Dave’s sister, bro’s and bro-in-law.  Here’s a fun picture of Daisy (it’s hard to believe she is 5 years old already!):

The next morning, once we packed up the rented Kia, we were off to our campsite at Castle Crags State Park. It’s quite amazing how much the landscape changes when driving in CA. We made it through the urban city, through the valley, drove through a fire on the highway, and after a few pit stops, made it to the mountains of the Shasta-Trinity area. Thank goodness we were able to pick out our campsite because we were thinking the riverside campsite sounded good, but then realized it was right by the train tracks (which was very active) and our neighbor would be some nosy lady riding around on her bike. We set up camp, cooked up some food and went to bed.

The next few days were spent hiking, exploring, checking out lakes and water falls. Our first hike was a bit strenuous, but well worth it once you made it to the top. We climbed the Castle Crags! See below the pictures of the crags from below, a great view of Mt. Shasta, and a picture on top of the crags.

After our hike up the crags, we went to Lake Sis (as the locals call it) to relax. And then later, watched the fireworks from Mt. Shasta City. We also went and checked out Mt. Shasta (Andrew and I hung out, they hiked up to play in the snow) and the McCloud River/Falls. Again, everyone except Andrew and I jumped off the rocks and into the lower fall (we were staying relaxed that day and I didn’t want everyone to know I was a big chicken and afraid to jump).

Ok, update to continue later today. It’s 1am and I’m falling asleep!

Tennessee Bound!

ok, so it’s been awhile since i’ve posted. sorry! i’ve been swamped at work and feeling rather frustrated at work as well. dave and i came up with a great analogy, i’m the star player stuck on the worst team in the league. hopefully it will all work out and eventually i can get traded, i just have to make it through the season. ahh corporate america, got to love it!

so i didn’t have pink eye. just a case of puffy eyes due to allergies. in the past, i never would go to the doctor. for some reason this year i’ve freaked out over possible health issues, making an appointment at the first sign of a problem and then by the time i get to the doctors everything back to normal. i think i need to not freak out or maybe its all in my mind, knowing i’m going to the doctor makes me better.

the past few weekends have been busy. we went to wedding #1 of the year. dave’s co-worker was getting married on her families horse farm in south jersey. it was awesome! it rained during the day, so everything was in this huge tent (part of the farm) and they laid sod down and brought in trees and lights. it was like we were in an awesome city park at night. the food was amazing, as well as the tasty margaritas they were serving during the cocktail hour.  the setting of a farm was also really cool. we had a great time. we also went to a grad party last weekend and a get together in philly. it was very hot and humid this past weekend!

this weekend we are heading down to nashville, tn for wedding #2. my friend amy from college is getting married. i’m very excited, especially to hang out with the old ise engineer crew. i had many good times with them in college. easter. beer olympics. football games. flag day celebrations. it’s great that flag day falls on a saturday this year and we can have an awesome flag day celebration in fancy clothes. i’m also excited because i get to take the train tonight up to wilmington, i do enjoy the train, all aboard! i will be missing an awesome celebration over on the west coast though. my sister tammy is graduating from uw. and it is father’s day/dad’s b-day as well. i wish i could be there to celebrate, but i will be thinking of everyone on sunday!

Back from the Emerald City

I’m back from a nice long weekend, visiting family in Seattle. It was an excellent 4 day getaway. I was able to see my Dad, Patricia, Billie, my sister Tammy, her boyfriend Robert, and my cousin Mike. We went on a harbor cruise, wine tasting, hit up a few breweries and funky bars, and had a few amazing meals both at restaurants and at home. I truly enjoy Seattle every time I visit, I always get to experience something new. The scenery is great, water all around, green life everywhere, and snow-cap mountains surround you. The culture is great for the young and old. And most places in the city seem to be very pet-friendly. And very green with lots of farmers markets held in different parts of the city and many local businesses. Lucky for me, I have family in fun cities, such as Seattle, that I can visit! 🙂

This trip officially kicked off my “summer of fun” with a bang! The weekend coming up is the Augustana concert and Memorial weekend fun in DE/Philly. Then back to DE for a wedding, the 1st of 4 this summer. If only I could get paid to visit family and friends for a living…

Here’s a view of the “Emerald City” skyline from my cruise (look for snow-cap mountains on the right side):