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:

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180101153347107_COVER

IMG_20180101_153536_055

Further Reading:

The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren: http://www.sintsixtus.be/eng/home.htm

USA Today Article on the brewery: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2005-10-03-beer-usat_x.htm

An idea of what people are willing to do for this stuff: http://cgi.ebay.com/24-WESTVLETEREN-12-8

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!!

A full wedding prep weekend

Kyle and I went down to Richmond Friday evening to prepare for our wedding fund raiser yard sale that we were having at Kyle’s parents on Saturday.  My mom brought stuff over, Kyle’s mom cleaned out their house, and Kyle and I had brought down all the doubles we had after moving in to our new place.  We stayed up late (Dana stayed up the latest), and got everything priced.  We had a lot set up, but had to move a lot in because of rain.  Then Saturday morning, we moved stuff out, and had people show up well before the sale was supposed to start (as can be expected with yard sales).  We probably priced some things too low and some too high (so they didn’t sell), but we sold a lot, and we made a lot.  Overall the yard sale was exhausting, but a huge success.  Thanks to our parents who helped so much.  We even left them early to go meet with Fr. Pat about the wedding service in London, KY.

We went to church at Fr. Pat’s church, and then we went out to dinner with him.  Then we went back to his house and discussed the service.  It was good to talk with him and ask him questions, and I think he was glad to know what we were thinking.  So there are still a few things left to decide, but the service is much closer to being planned now.

This morning we slept in, and then we talked to Kyle’s parents about wedding plans, in particular the rehearsal dinner.  We’re waiting to hear from one more potential place to have the dinner, but we should have the location for the rehearsal dinner decided and booked soon.

Then we drove to Lexington, and met with a jewelry designer, Pattie, recommended to us by my friend Emily’s dad to take over the design of my wedding band.  Gary, the artisan who designed my engagement ring, passed away somewhat suddenly after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of June.  We also talked to her about doing Kyle’s ring.  Pattie is very nice, and we think she’ll do a great job with our rings.  So we left my ring with her so she could work on the design.  Now it’s really weird that I don’t have a ring on my finger.  It used to feel weird to always have a ring on, and now it’s the opposite.  I might have to put another ring on until I get my ring back.

We got quite a bit done this weekend.  And we got quite a bit done last week, but I’m not going to write about that because I’m a little brain-dead.  Now we’re back in Louisville, and probably going to go to bed early.  We’re still exhausted.  Thanks again to our parents for their help on the yard sale!

Sears

Kyle and I went to Sears today and registered.  So it no longer has zero items.  You can definitely tell this is Kyle’s registry, but I’m excited about it too.  Now we’ll have cool tools to match my cordless drill, not that we really have anywhere to put them, but we’ll find a way.  And we’ll build more stuff like our table and recycling center.  And there is some electronics type stuff too.  So check it out sometime if you want.

Also, we got an e-mail from Pampered Chef:

Dear Caitlan and Kyle,

We regret to inform you that the following products on your registry will be discontinued as of September 1, 2009. You might want to drop hints to your guests that they’re available for a limited time.

  • 2228 / Easy Adjustable Measuring Cup
  • 2229 / Easy Adjustable Measuring Spoon

So if anyone wants to buy us anything early, those would be two good things.  It’s not a big deal if we don’t get them.  They’re getting some new products too, and they might have different adjustable measuing things.  But just thought we would let people know. 🙂

We’re registered!

We actually registered a while back, but we registered at quite a few stores, so we wanted to make sure nothing overlapped.  There were different, specific things we wanted at each place, and everyone has different stores close to them, so we thought it was okay to register at multiple places.  We are registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Target; JCPenney; Williams and Sonoma; and Pampered Chef.  All have websites (I think you can only get stuff from Pampered Chef online), but some of our products are in-store only.  Click on the Registry button at the bottom of our “Bride & Groom” page and you’ll have links to all our registries.  If you’re in the store, or looking us up online (you have to for Williams and Sonoma), if you just spell my name correctly (Caitlan Adkins), you’ll only come up with one registry, I think, on all of them.  A good thing about having a uniquely spelled name.

We tried to cover a range of prices and a range of types of gifts.  We tried to register at Lowes, but they apparently discontinued their gift registry, so we tried Home Depot and they don’t seem to have one either.  Kyle still wants manly stuff, so we registered at Sears for that (but he hasn’t picked anything out yet).  We’ll be keeping an eye on our registries and updating them when we need to.  Yay!

Save the Date!

I think everyone should have gotten our save-the-dates by now.  Brendan drew us a great picture that we’ve gotten lots of compliments on.  We e-mailed most and mailed some, but we wanted to post it up for everyone to see here, too.

 

 

We’re going to Cabo!!

Kyle and I have two very generous uncles, and we just got off the phone with my Uncle Jerome finishing booking our second week of our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula.  Kyle’s Uncle Roger and Aunt Becky came in a few weeks ago, and they helped us book our first week there.  We’re very excited.

We’ll be staying at two different resorts run by the same company.  Our first week we’ll be in Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach and our second week we’ll be in Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos.  We’ll have studios both weeks, and we can travel to their other resorts on their free shuttle and use all their facilities.  Our first resort is on the Pacific side with big waves crashing in, so we can’t swim in the ocean there, but our resort for the second week is on an inlet, so we will be able to swim in the ocean then.  And one resort that we’re not staying in, but we can use, has big beds on the beach that you can rent, so we want to do that.

We’re still trying to figure out our flights.  Our resort stay is January 2  – January 16, so we may go somewhere the day after our wedding and fly out from there.  But now we know definitely where we are going and our dates, so we’ll be booking the flights soon.

Click here if you want to check the resorts out!  They’re the ones in Cabo San Lucas: Sunset Beach and Los Cabos.

We’re on the books!

Kyle and I had a bit of a stumbling block last month when we found out in church that the priest we had been working with on our wedding at St. Louis Bertrand was being transferred to Rhode Island.  And we were having trouble getting a hold of him, so we weren’t really sure if anyone else at the church knew we were getting married there.  After a few calls, I found out who I should talk to, but then I had trouble getting a hold of him.  I panicked a bit, especially when we hit the 6-month mark and I still hadn’t been able to talk to anyone at the church.  I talked to Fr. Pat, and he assured me it would all be okay, and if I didn’t get in touch with someone soon, he would give them a call and see what he could find out.   Soon after I talked to Fr. Pat, I did hear back from the new priest, and we got a meeting set up.  That meeting was today, and Kyle and I still scheduled to get married December 31, 2009.

This priest has been at the church longer and seemed to be more in the know about the details with having the wedding there.  We got information on preparation, and we’re mailing out a registration form for that tomorrow.  And we got a book on planning a wedding service in a Catholic church without having the Mass.  We got names for who we should talk to about financial info and building details.

There might be some complications with the reception hall, having to do with security and making sure a person on staff is there on New Year’s Eve, but we were assured that we would get it worked out since we’re already committed (and who knows if anywhere else in the city is available for a wedding reception on New Year’s Eve less than six months in advance?).

Then we just chatted a bit and got to know our new contact in the church.  I feel much more comfortable now, knowing someone else in the church knows about us.  The wedding will go on, and  it will even happen where we said it would.  Yay!

A letter to all I know

Many of you already know about the changes happening in the office of Advancement. Others have heard me share the challenges that come with being a fundraiser in the current economy. It had recently become apparent that I would be unable to continue in my position which I held for 2 years. As of Wednesday, June 24th I no longer work for my alma mater.

While the decisions that led to my current state were, at the very least, disappointing, I will always be a vocal proponent of all things red and black, and thank the University for the opportunities it has given me over the past two years. I have met entrepreneurs who have created wealth from merely an idea of what they wanted to accomplish, and the determination to see their work to its conclusion. I have worked beside brilliant academics, recognized experts in their field, who are called all over the planet to speak to people who think an hour listening to them will make them a better person. I have met students whose lives have been radically changed by education and philanthropy. Students short on both income and knowledge of business have been turned into industry leaders by our College, supported by its donors. Those who know me well know that I was never exaggerating when I referred to my work as “inspirational.”

I have learned a great deal over the past 2 years about who I was, and who I wanted to become. I will miss my former colleagues but enjoy knowing they are diligently doing some of the most important work on this planet. Caitlan and I have some major decisions to make about the course of our lives, and we appreciate the support of our family and friends as we deal with these sudden changes.

Thank you all,

Kyle