Shower Number 3

A couple weekends ago, I had my first shower in Louisville and third shower overall.  Dana Fuchs had a personal shower for me, and kept the embarrassment to a minimum.  It was a lot of fun.  There was a boob cake, fondue, fleur-de-lis shaped chocolates, and lots of other goodies.  Dana bought my favorite (and possibly only I like) wine, and she had punch and jello shots with whiskey.  And yes, I actually had one of the jello shots.  It burned in my chest.  So obviously the food and drink made an impression on  me.

I can’t really talk about my gifts, but I got a lot of fun stuff, sexy and comfy.  And now it’s all hidden in my trousseau until the honeymoon.

We also played games.  Kyle and I came up with statements about ourselves that people had to guess which one of us it was about.  My friends learned that I love comic books and graphic novels and Kyle has beautiful hands.  Kyle comprehends time zones better than me, and I get too emotionally attached during UofL sporting events.  And lots of other fun stuff.  Then everyone wrote stories/conversations about/between Kyle and me using different foods, such as Yoohoo.  Those, along with little notes from everyone, went into a jar that Dana sealed that Kyle and I aren’t allowed to open until our one-year anniversary.  The last game was Dana asking me questions about Kyle that he had answered earlier.  Each time I got one wrong, I had to put a piece of gum in my mouth.  I got 6 wrong, but 7 right.  I knew that Kyle would save his computer if he had to choose one thing to save from a fire (besides me).  But I didn’t know know he would take his iPhone (since he doesn’t have one) on a deserted island (again excluding me as a choice).

The shower was a lot of fun.  A lot of my bridesmaids got to come to this one, and all my friends in Louisville.  They all told me not to write them thank-you cards, so if you all read this, thanks for all my gifts!  And thanks so much, Dana, for throwing it!

Wedding Progress of the Past Few Weeks

We’ve been accomplishing a lot of little things the past few weeks, so we thought we would do one entry on all of it.

We got our honeymoon flights booked, or Roger and Becky did.  They were very generous and used their miles to get us flights to Cabo.  We’re leaving January 2 and getting back January 16.

We talked to our priest contact at the church and figured out the details on keys for the reception and when we can get into the church for pictures.

My mom came by the Rocking Horse Inn that we’re reserving for two nights, and we found out we can get some of our wedding pictures done there.

We got our program and invitation finalized, which entails getting our songs decided, time of service finalized (7:00 p.m.), order of bridesmaids and groomsmen.  They should be printed by Monday or Tuesday.

We booked a place for our rehearsal dinner and put down a deposit (Bistro 301).

We picked up our invitation envelopes.  Then Rita came over, and she and I addressed all of them that we have addresses for.

We got a price on our wedding cake.

We sent a timeline of events to our photographer.

We’re in the process of getting our online RSVPs set up.

We picked out our flower girl dresses and bought them.

We bought a tuxedo and all the accessories for Kyle (except shoes).

I went to Monica’s and tried on the dress for one last fitting, and decided on how to do the veil.  On the 20th, the dress will be done, and I’ll pick it up.  I also bought accessories for me, though we’re going to try them with the dress before we’re definitely keep them.

We talked to Fr. Pat, and e-mailed him the program to make sure everything in the service looks good.

We have our ceremony musicians (string trio and organist and soloist) booked and let them know the songs they would be playing.  We think we have our reception musicians booked too.

We talked to the liquor store we’re using, and the manager is going to send us a proposal in the next couple days.

That’s all I can think of now.  It seems as soon as we get one thing done, another thing pops up.  But now it’s 7 weeks until the wedding, and soon it will all be done, so we’re trying to enjoy every moment of it!

Wedding “Nightmares”

I have now had two wedding “nightmares” that just end up making me laugh when I wake up, but during the dream, they are very stressful.  One has to do with the wedding, the other with leaving for the honeymoon.

Number 1:

The ceremony is getting ready to start, and the string trio we’re planning on having is not at the church, which is laid out more like a banquet hall than a church.  Luckily, the organist, who we weren’t planning on having at the time (now we are), decided to show up anyway.  So the organist and the singer we’re hiring are playing and singing music, none of which Kyle and I picked out.  Then it comes time for the readings (I don’t think we ever walked up the aisle).  We’re having Kyle’s dad, Brendan, and Ian do our readings.  Ian is not there.  And apparently, Kyle and I never decided who would read which readings.  Kyle and I are sitting at separate tables (remember, it’s like a banquet hall), he with his dad and me with my mom, so through motions we decide that Kyle’s dad will do the first reading, we’ll sing the responsorial psalm (since Ian isn’t there), and Brendan will do the second reading.  We have amazing hand motions skills in this dream.  After this, I notice (only now) that Fr. Pat is not there either (he must be with Ian).  So there is no one to read the Gospel or give a homily.  So my mom and I decide that we’ll go stand in front of everyone.  To do what, I’m not sure.  Kyle stays in his seat.  Once we’re up there, I realize that I am not in my wedding dress, and I haven’t picked out my wedding shoes.  I have on a yellow nightgown that strangely resembles a comforter I own.  And I’ve got on my gray slipper socks with two different wedding shoes on.  Think Sandra Bullock in “While You Were Sleeping” with the hanger around her neck when Jack comes over.  Maybe my dream is telling me I’ve seen that movie too many times.  When I realize all this, I tell my mom, and I ask her if I should go change.  She says no.  As we continue to stand, I notice that one of my old friends from high school’s mom is standing to the side at the front, holding up posters with the names of all the bridesmaids on them and other important people – basically our program in poster form.  At this point, I realize we must not have had any programs to hand out.  And if we didn’t have programs, then we must not have had invitations, considering Uncle John and Aunt Dana are doing them both.  I’m not sure how everyone got to the wedding on time and everything without invitations.  Maybe our website is better than we think.  I tell my mom that we never sent out the invitations, which she just nods to.  Then I said, “Wait!  Yesterday it was October!  How is it already New Year’s Eve?”  As I start run out, I guess trying to find a calendar to see what day it is, my alarm goes off.

Number 2:

Kyle and I are going to the airport to fly out for our honeymoon, and I am mad at him for some reason.  When we get there, he goes to sit down, and I go to check us in.  We don’t have our seats assigned for our second flight (this is true in real life) because there were no two seats together when Roger booked the flights.  So I tell the people that we’re on our honeymoon and ask if we could sit together.  However, I don’t think I’m very convincing because I’m not very happy, so Kyle and I don’t look like newlyweds getting ready to go on their honeymoon.  But the girl at the desk says she’ll try, but she says their airline isn’t actually the one flying us on our second flight (this is not true in real life), so she’s not sure she can get us seats next to each other.  But they do have something special for honeymoon couples.  So I go to wait with Kyle, and I have my carry-on with me.  In the dream, this turns out to be the bag that I walk to work with every day, so I didn’t really pack it, I just picked it up and brought it with us.  Thus, I needed to go through it before we got on the flight.  I’m digging in the pockets, and I pull out silverware: forks, knives, and spoons.  And it’s our silverware from our apartment (and some that we already gave back to Kyle’s mom), so I can’t throw it out or anything because then we won’t have any silverware when we get back.  I just keep pulling out more and more silverware.  And I have nail clippers and tweezers, and all the sharp objects you’re not supposed to have in carry-ons.  I tell Kyle I’m just going to have to call my mom, and he looks up and says that I don’t have to.  I turn, and she’s walking toward us in the airport.  Apparently, I forgot something that she brought me.  I have no idea what it was, but I give her all my silverware, I just dump it in her bag.  Then she disappears, and it’s time for us to go on our special thing for honeymoon couples.  It turns out to be a trip through the “Admiral’s Hall” whatever that is.  We get up to go, and I have no shoes on, and I don’t know where my shoes are.  I just have socks, and as I walk, my socks keep starting to come off my feet.  I keep pulling them up, but for some reason I can’t walk in a way that they won’t come off my feet.  We get to the Admiral’s Hall, and they show us where people come for dinner and all the fancy dishes.  It’s sort of like a museum.  Then we get to this place with all this jewelry, sort of like the Jewel House at the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are.  As we’re looking at all the pretty jewelry, I wake up.  I don’t know if we ever made it to the plane (and I got all the “weapons” out of my bag) or if Kyle and I got to sit together on our flights, nor do I know why I was mad at him or where my shoes went.  I guess I just went barefoot.

Aren’t dreams wonderful?

Shower Number 2

Last weekend, Michele McBrayer hosted a shower for me at her house.  It was the first time I got to see her new house, and it’s beautiful.  And the leaves on the trees were bright and gorgeous.  Michele was calling her shower the “old lady” shower, but there were a couple girls there besides me.  And Janet brought Juliana.  It was great to see everyone there.  A lot of the people I don’t see very often.

We had a game where teams danced their expressions of marriage, which was quite amusing.  My mom and Kyle’s mom were partners, and they won.  Michele also had a little book that everyone wrote their advice for marriage in, which was a neat idea.  I think I’m going to bring the book to my other showers to have people write in if they want.  Michele made her strawberry cake, which I had requested, my favorite.  Everyone enjoyed it.

We got a lot of good gifts too.  We got mostly kitchen stuff, but a few non-kitchen items.  We’ve already been using a lot of it.  And this weekend, we had a Halloween party, for which we used a lot of our new kitchen stuff in preparation.  We just had to find room for everything back at the apartment, although we did get to get rid of some of our old pots and pans.

Thanks to Michele for hosting the shower!  I really enjoyed it, and Kyle and I are loving our new gifts!

Engaged Encounter

The last weekend in September, Kyle and I went on an engagement retreat called Engaged Encounter at Mt. St. Francis in southern Indiana.  We spent our time writing and talking and listening to the two presenting couples and a priest.  Though the majority of our relationship has been spent talking over the phone or on skype, we still learned a lot about each other over the weekend.  A lot of the weekend was very personal, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to share, but there are few things.

We got to wander around Mt. St. Francis and we met an artist who has his studio there.  His art was great.  Michelle Dixon told us we had to have our retreat at Mt. St. Francis instead of the other place it’s held, and we’re very glad we did.  It was a beautiful place.

We had a Mass on the second night of the retreat, which was very moving.  We wrote our own prayers and shared them with the presenting couples.  The priest also had a very good homily.  We really enjoyed it.

We wrote betrothals to each other, which were letters to each other about how much we love each other and how we’re devoted to each other.  They were very touching, and mine almost made Kyle cry (which is quite a feat).  He only got teary-eyed.  We’re really happy that we have our feelings for each other on paper.

We’re very glad we did it, and we encourage any engaged couples to do it.  We’re planning on trying to volunteer with the retreat, too.

The Best Beer in the World

I have, currently, in my possession, at this very moment, the BEST BEER IN THE WORLD!

“But Kyle,” you say, “That is an incredibly subjective statement, who’s to say what the best beer in the world is?” You couldn’t be more wrong.  Ask any beer connoisseur, check any beer related website, ask any monk from the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance and they’ll all tell you that there is one beer that reigns supreme over all other beers: the Trappist Westvleteren 12 from the Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren. Please, take the time to consult the BeerAdvocate list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth. Now check out RateBeer’s Top 50. Notice where my Westy 12 sits? That’s right, the very top of both lists.

“But Kyle,” you say, “What’s the big deal?  I could go out and buy a bottle at the liquor store.” You couldn’t be more wrong.  You see, the monks at Saint Sixtus are Trappists and have devoted their lives to the tenants of St. Benedict’s Rule – stability, fidelity to monastic life, and obedience.  Did you see making money off beer in that list?  No?  That’s because they have sworn to only sell goods that directly benefit the monastic life, and not to sell so much beer that they have more money than needs to be met.  Westvleteren beers are sold only at the Abby itself, in Belgium.  Not only that but you must reserve the beer you would like to purchase before you arrive, and they will only accept one order per car per telephone number per month . Now it’s a little trickier, isn’t it.

“Wow, Kyle, that’s amazing!” you say, “You must have a really special occasion to get a beer like that.” You couldn’t be more right.  Caitlan and I will open this mother-of-all-beers at the reception of our wedding, New Year’s Eve.  We’ll dance our first dance, lovingly cut our wedding cake, and lock arms while we sip the finest mixture of hops and grains man has ever made.  It will be the second best moment of the day.

Our beer, I took it out for these pictures and had to have Caitlan put it back before I drank it:



Further Reading:

The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren:

USA Today Article on the brewery:

An idea of what people are willing to do for this stuff:

My very first wedding shower

My first wedding shower was a small luncheon thrown by my mom’s prayer group (her groupies) for me at Beth’s house.  It was food-themed, and we had delicious food.  And Deb brought my requested dried cherry scones.  We played games with food sculptures, British vs. American words, and wedding word scrambles.

Everyone brought gifts that I can use for cooking.  Most of them are red, so they’ll all go with our kitchen stuff.  We’ve already used the measuring cups and spoons a lot, and I’m looking forward to using the rest.  The groupies also each gave me some of their favorite recipes, so I’m excited to try those out.

It was a lot of fun.  A great way to start off my showers with a small group of people who have known me since I was a little girl.  Thanks to all the groupies!!