Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our Wedding: The Reception

Ok, prepare yourself for another loooong post of pictures!

When I last left off, we were just getting to the reception site to join the end of the social hour. We tried to get there as soon as we could but were probably only there for 15-30 minutes before they started to seat guests for dinner I am guessing. Our photographers snapped some candids, but my favorite photo during the social hour - the photo with my nieces and nephews - is one of my favorites from the entire day! The funny thing is that my niece Evie (who I am holding) was on the brink of a meltdown. We were heading upstairs to dinner and my brother-in-law grabbed me and said that the niece and nephew photo had to happen NOW or it wasn't going to happen at all. You'd never know that Evie was about to have a meltdown in this photo! I seriously can't love this photo enough and it's one that I will for sure be framing! Getting 7 kids to all look at the camera and smile = ninja photographer skills! The photos in this post look a little blurry, I think because of the change in size when I drop them into this post (no idea how to fix that - my techie skills are so limited). They are crisp and clear on the wedding gallery and when printed, though!

After that photo we headed upstairs and my uncle introduced the wedding party to the song "Just Say Yes" by Snow Patrol.

We opted not to have a wedding dance but I still really wanted a first dance and a father/daughter dance so after we were introduced, we went to the dance floor and danced to "Here, There, Everywhere" by the Beatles.

Then it was time to be seated for dinner. We had a lot of speeches at our wedding so I put a lot of thought into the cadence of speeches so it wouldn't feel like people were stuck listening to speeches for a long period of time. I was a little bit paranoid that we had too many speeches but we've gotten several comments about how much people enjoyed the speeches so I think it all worked out. At the end of the day, the wedding is about the couple getting married so I tried to stay true to what I wanted without worrying about what people would think (this is easier said than done!!).

After the blessing and while the salads were being delivered, my dad kicked things off with his welcome speech. My dad doesn't write his speeches out, he just puts together a bullet point list of things and goes a bit 'off the cuff' but it always works out! My dad talked about how proud he is that all of his kids are motivated and independent. He talked about how wonderful marriage is because you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. He excitedly welcomed Phil into the family and said he can't wait to do lots of fishing together. And he surprised us all by singing a little bit of a 1950's song called "Beautiful Brown Eyes" (my mom and I both have dark brown eyes).

I love the look on my mom's face while my dad is speaking. There's so much love between them after nearly 48 years of marriage!

My dad then SURPRISED my mom and passed the mic to her. I thought this was maybe planned as I am the last wedding in the family but it turns out he gave my mom no heads up! My mom pulled it off amazingly, though, and had many of my friends in tears. She talked about how when I would come home for the weekend, either from college or as an adult, I would always want to look at the engagement section of the paper first so I could read all about who was getting married to who. She tearfully talked about how excited she was to be able to put my engagement announcement in the paper this spring.

I love the look on my sisters face during my mom's speech - I think she teared up a bit.

Next up, Phil's mom spoke. I know it is not traditional to have the mother of the groom speak, but she wanted to speak. She has a very special relationship with Phil, which has grown since she has become a widow. And this will be her only family wedding so we wanted to give her the opportunity to talk. She KILLED it. She had people laughing so hard, some were crying! She told stories about Phil's childhood, and especially about his irreverent sense of humor. My favorite was the story about how one of Phil's elementary school teachers made all the students get a stuffed animal to keep on their desk as their 'buddy'. Phil thought this was ridiculous but had to go along with it. His parents took him to a store and he picked out a stuffed mole, which they thought was odd. On the way home, Phil said he had picked out a name for his stuffed animal:  Mole Lester.  Ha!  Besides talking about his sense of humor and funny personality as a child, she talked about how great of a son he is as he comes out to her house every Sunday for most of the day and mows and does other things on her 'honey do' list.

That ended the first block of speeches. We took a break and let our guests enjoy their salads and dinner. A lot of people say they did not eat anything at their wedding but I was in the clean plate club. Weddings are so expensive and I don't do well when I get hungry so there was no way I was skipping dinner! Since we got served first, we were able to go around to lots of tables while others were being served/eating. I also snapped a group shot with my college friends...

and my blog friends!

Towards the end of dinner service, our wedding party gave their speeches. We had 2 best men and 2 matrons of honor and told them they did not all have to speak, but they all opted to.

Best man Luke (college friend) went first. I think he was talking about Phil's sense of frugality or extreme honesty in this photo.

Then best man Dave (friends since elementary school) went next. I'm not quite sure what he was saying in this photo but I love the body language of Phil and Dave! He told stories about their teenage and college years and the one in this photo must have been a good one!

Next up, my sisters spoke. My older sister Emily went first. She kept it short and sweet and talked about how happy she is for Phil and me.

Then my younger sister Abby spoke and I was told that she had a lot of guests crying happy tears. She talked about how she knows how I am going to be as a mom since I did a bit (err a lot) of mothering to her when she was growing up. She said wanted to find a quote from a book to include in her toast since our wedding was book-themed so she started to look back through my blog posts to see if I had shared anything. She couldn't find anything but by looking back through my posts, she did discover how much the tone of my posts and outlook on life changed when Phil came into my life.

After the wedding party speeches, Phil and I both spoke. Again, I know it is not traditional for the bride to speak, but I wanted to make sure we thanked our guests as they had all taken time away from their families since it was a kid-free wedding and likely took time away from work since it was a 4pm Friday wedding. I also wanted to thank those who had traveled as we had guests from 16 different states and 1 Canadian province.

Lastly, I thanked Phil and said he was worth the wait. And since it was a book-themed wedding, I decided to share the following poem which summed up my sentiment about marrying him so perfectly:

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise you riches, wealth or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart’s devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow.
A love that’s true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
~ Mark Twain

 Then it was Phil's turn to close out the speeches. Part of Phil's job is to write the humor section of his company's monthly finance publication (rumor has it that most clients read it first before getting into the charts/graphs and serious financial commentary). Since he 'gets paid to be funny' (as he often says), I knew his speech would be funny.

 You can tell how funny it is by my brother-in-law's body language in this photo!

His speech was hilarious, but it was also very sweet and sentimental. At the end, he talked about how, as a couple, we are going to face tragedies both big and small. But he said we are going to face them together - Phil and Lisa.

After the speeches, we did the father/daughter dance to the song "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. 

You can faintly see my darn tan lines in this photo. They aren't too noticeable, though.

Phil and his mom joined us on the dance floor about a minute into the song.

After that song, we asked our guests to stick around for "Cocktails, Conversations and Confections." I was worried that without a dance, most guests would leave after dinner but luckily most people stayed around until 9-10 pm. Many of our guests commented on how they liked that we did not have a dance as it allowed for more socialization. This is the first wedding I've been to that didn't have a dance, and I'm so happy that we made this choice. The reason we opted to not have a dance is that we knew that if we had a dance, one or both of us would need to be on the dance floor and as a result, it would give us less time to interact with our guests.  Since we had many guests that had traveled so far, I didn't want our interaction to be limited to the 1-2 minutes we spent at each table in between courses. Life many decisions in life, this is a "you do you." I know that for many people, the wedding dance is their favorite part of the night, but for us, it was the right decision to not have a dance (it also cut down on cost as we didn't have to hire a DJ!).

At the start of the "Cocktails, Conversations and Confections" part of the evening, I snapped some photos with my family.

I love my sisters so much!

Phil and I with my siblings and their spouses
 And then it was time for some dessert photos. As I mentioned before, we had a dessert table instead of cake since GF cake is pretty awful. I'll share photos of our (amazing) dessert table in the detail post. I think it's safe to say our guests weren't sad that they couldn't have cake!

For our dessert photos, we each had a macaron (salted caramel for her, pistachio for him).

And we also had some salted caramel budino (which was also so so good)!

I definitely went back to the dessert table several times that night for more treats!

We stayed at our reception until about 10:30, I think. There were only a few guests left at this point and it seemed like they would be leaving soon so we felt like it was an OK time to leave. We were both definitely exhausted by the time we left! 

If you made it this far - CONGRATULATIONS!!!  This was a super long post but I want to preserve these memories so I can read them in the future when my memories of the night aren't quite as sharp!

I have one more post for you with the decoration details so you can see how we incorporate our book theme into the decor!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Shouldless Days: July

This past weekend I worked my butt off on Saturday (grocery shopped, team cleaned the house with Phil, did laundry) so that I could have a shouldless day yesterday.  As usual, it was glorious.  I completely recognize that it's probably not possible to have a shouldless day if you are a parent, but if your life circumstances permit taking a day to yourself, DO IT! Here's how I filled my day!

I laid in bed until 8 am (which is so late for me!!) and then wandered downstairs to have a breakfast of yogurt with blueberries and pb toast with banana.

Once Phil got up, I made smoothies with peach, blueberries, banana, and frozen pineapple. I loved this combination! We watched Face the Nation on CBS which is our Sunday morning tradition. Then Phil headed to his mom's for the day and I headed to my garden.

As I said last week, it's growing like crazy these days.

I picked more beans, a few cherry tomatoes, harvested the rest of our beets, and gathered up all the zucchini, which is growing like crazy. I see zucchini boats, zucchini "meatballs", and zucchini coffee cake in our future.

After my trip to the garden, I enjoyed a sandwich, roasted beets from my garden that I roasted last weekend, and cottage cheese while watching an episode of Suits.

After that, I had to figure out what to do with all the beets I picked! I love beets but they aren't Phil's thing and there is no way I could eat them all on my own. So I turned 2 pounds of beets into refrigerator pickled beets (I subbed apple cider vinegar for white vinegar as I think that will give them more flavor!). I loooove pickles so can't wait to snack on these throughout the week and share some with my parents next weekend when we go to the lake.

The rest of my afternoon was incredibly lazy. I laid on the couch and read my latest book, A Little Life. This book is so good but so heart breaking (hence the reason it's been referred to as emotionally devastating. This book is not for the faint of heart!). Before long, Oscar had joined me (she loves it when I lay on the couch!) and we took a little nap together. I was definitely nervous about how well I would sleep after sleeping in AND taking a nap, but oh well! Last week was busy and I guess my body needed the extra rest - plus kitty's sleepiness tends to rub off on me when we are cuddling!

Phil got home around 8 and we caught up on our days. Before I knew it, it was time for bed!

How did you spend your weekend? While Sunday was pretty lazy, Friday and Saturday weren't as we hosted friends for dinner on Friday night and went to a get together with 2 other couples on Saturday night (after a full day of adulting!).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Eating the Fruits of My Labor

I love summer for many reasons, but towards the top is that I get to do one of my newfound hobbies/talents - gardening!

I put my garden in a couple of weeks before the wedding and this month I've been able to pick some things!

My cherry tomatoes are growing well but taking awhile to turn red. I picked one (which I promptly ate) and 4 more last night. Hopefully more will start to turn soon! Fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes are sooo good! Phil doesn't like raw tomatoes so I get them all to myself!

I'm also growing larger tomatoes but didn't take a picture of them as they are just starting to pop and are very green. I'll probably be able to start to pick them in late July or early August. Hopefully my crop is as good this year as it was last year so I can do lots of canning!

One new thing I am growing this year is tomatillos. It's been interesting to watch these grow. If you've bought tomatillos before, you know that they are sold in their husk. I thought that the fruit and the husk would grow at the same time, but the husk grows first and then the fruit grows to fill it. I'm guessing I won't be able to pick these until August as the fruit inside is cherry tomato size right now. But once I can start to harvest these, there will be lots of green salsa and green enchilada sauce in my future!

This picture is upside down, but you get the idea of what else I was able to pick last night. The zucchini on the far right is HUGE (it weighs about 2.5 pounds!). We've got some zucchini boats in our future!  I'm going to a bbq hosted by a college friend this weekend so will likely bring something zucchini-based. I know beets are popular with everyone, so I'll roast those for salads and sides.

I also picked a bunch of green beans. This is a gallon bag so there are quite a few! We'll be enjoying these tonight along with grilled brats and potatoes.

I love going to Farmer's Markets, and frequent the local one on weekends when we are home, but there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of eating food that you grew! I'm so glad that our neighborhood of Minneapolis has a community garden!

Are you doing any gardening this year? Have you been visiting any local Farmers Markets? My weekends have been so busy since getting back from our honeymoon so I have only gone to the Farmer's Market once! Hopefully I can get there more often going forward!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our Wedding: Going to the Reception

Tired of reading wedding posts yet? I'm trying not to write an obnoxious number of posts but I know I'll love coming back and re-experiencing the day in years to come.

When the ceremony ended, we decided not to have a receiving line as we planned to go around to each table at the reception. By the time my dress was bustled, all of the guests had made their way over to the reception, so we headed that way and took some pictures along the way. This area of Minneapolis is my absolute favorite area of Minneapolis so it made for a beautiful backdrop for photos. Once again, I have a lot of images to share!

Here we are with our 'just married!' expressions!

This area of Minneapolis has cobble-stoned streets and side walks and just oozes charm.

We walked along the path that we've ran along together countless times!

Our matrons of honor and best men joined us for a couple more wedding party shots before heading to the reception!

I used to live in a building that is a block to the left of the tall building in this photo.

These are the photos I dreamed of taking when we decided to have our wedding in this area. I'm so glad that the weather cooperated! And I just love how green and lush everything is in these photos!

This photo is among my favorites of the day.

I love our expressions in this photo - the photos that capture our personalities are my favorite!

We crossed back over to the other side of the street and made our way to the reception, taking more photos along the way.

Phil was clearly still adjusting to wearing a ring at this point!

And then it was time to head into the social hour to kick off the celebration!