Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I am going to guess most of you know where I'm going with this, but that's okay. I still want to say it.
This Thanksgiving is very special for my family.
This Thanksgiving could have looked a lot different. It could've been our first "without".....him.
Instead I'll most likely be swatting the second helping of canned cranberries out of his hand tomorrow and making sure he doesn't go for the salt shaker.
I'm still thankful for my health, my home, the rest of my family... but mostly, overwhelmingly, I'm thankful for his health.
In some twisted way, I'm thankful it happened-- or at least if it had to happen, that it unfolded the way it did. That even if he didn't have any warning then- we have warning now. I'm also thankful it's given me the chance to say all sorts of things to him I'm not sure I ever would've verbalized. I've always been close with my dad, or at least he was always special to me, but it was more of an unspoken feeling, than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I always told him I loved him, but I've never said all the other mushy things until now. It's brought us closer than we have ever been, and for that I'm incredibly thankful. I don't know how much longer we'll have together, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.. the same can be said for anyone, but I do know that the years will be so much more special.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hi, still here, still rolling.

In honor of this gloriously short Thanksgiving week, work has decided to actually be busy! That's a lie, everybody else is busy but they just weren't handing stuff down to me as efficiently.
No weekend recap this weekend. In blogger-sinful-fashion I had Friendsgiving with Lo, Syndal and Jess and our men. I spent 50% of the night eating cheese, and 50% of the night petting Jess's cats. So overall it was the best night of my life.
But seriously, Jess made SUCH a ridiculously delicious meal, I know without a doubt it'll be better than my real Thanksgiving meal, and if you couldn't tell I'm hungry right now by the way I'm fawning over it.. well.. I don't know what to tell ya.
So there's that. Rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, was at my parents on "dad duty" for a bit while he and M went to the UMD/UMN hockey game. Bulldogs won. WOOP WOOP (my alma mater). Really I don't care though, I'm the worst alumni ever. I actually usually prefer the Gophers.

Moving on- more wedding posts:
Ahhhh family photos. 
They were rapid fire, they involved a lot of smiling and swapping out family members. I won't bore you with all of the 100 combinations. They're a necessary component of a wedding day, and I know our parents will really like them, but they're just never my favorite. Don't get me wrong, they're nice photos, but I prefer the more editorial style of the rest of the photos. 
Since I've started this post out on SUCH a high note (;-)) here they are!:

Up next: the ceremony!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I know everybody says it, but I'd be remiss if I didn't: I firmly believe we had the best wedding party ever. They were so much fun, and a lot on each side knew each other beforehand so it was like a giant party with our best friends the whole day.

These are some of my favorites- our photographer lined us up and then told each pairing to "dance through the line" of people... the expressions on everyone are priceless, but I have to say Dana and Matt win (2nd photo):

Up next: some family photos

Monday, November 18, 2013


I was born and raised a Catholic.
I'm sure I've alluded to that fact now and again on this blog, most likely poking fun at some of the dogma that is stereotypical of the Catholic Church. The truth is I joke about it because I've had a hard time with it the last 5 years or so. Mostly, to be blunt, a result of the combination of the child-abuse scandal and the church's views on same sex marriage. It's easy to lose faith when there's so much hate, so many excuses, and so much intolerance.

If any one single thing has restored my faith in Faith itself, and in the church community- it's been my dad's heart attack. It's hard to not look at, and admire, someone with as much faith as he has. He's a man of quiet faith.. we never really talked about it outside of school and/or church, so I never realized how deeply held his beliefs were until later in life.

My dad works as a custodian at our church and the affiliated grade school, where I went. (I don't know why I feel the need to tell you this, likely because I'm proud and defensive of my dad: he was a fiber optical engineer at Qwest for 25 years and was let go in favor of a younger employee about 10 years ago- he jokingly calls this his retirement job). Our family has been a part of the church for as long as I can remember, but my dad has remained a more integral part of it with these younger generations since my brother and I have been gone, through his job.

I thought I knew all my dad's friends. I truly did. He doesn't lead a wild social life, he's pretty low key, so I thought I knew them all. I was wrong. The number of emails I've received from people asking to help, many of whom I don't recognize at all, is astounding. These are largely, mostly, church people.

The point of this specific post though... stewardship. My dad is a member of the church's Men's Club, and they reached out pretty early on to let me know if  we needed anything, to just ask. We haven't had as much work as we've had people asking, so a few of the guys asked about donating money. I was VERY hesitant to accept any, because truthfully his medical bills are covered by insurance for the most part, minus a decent sized deductible... and we think (and are in the process of finding out) he's got some decent disability pay, so he'll really be "ok" through all the time off he'll need. One of the officers reminded me though, and it's good to be reminded, sometimes people just really need to feel like they've helped. So, I set up one of those fundraiser websites for my dad, thinking it'd be nice if we could at least cover his deductible for him, if anything. Aside from emailing it to the Men's Club, and sending the link to a small chain of family on Facebook whom I'd been keeping updated on my dad, I haven't promoted it at all.

The email with the link went out to the Men's Club this morning,... a mere 7 hours ago. We're nearly halfway to our "goal", the deductible amount, already. I'm blown away. I don't know how to separate whether this is a testament to my dad, and what an incredible person he truly is, or a testament to our Catholic Church, and how much they support their own-- and knowing my dad I'm not sure they can be separated.

I do know that this has helped restore my faith. My faith in humanity, in people.. and in Faith itself.


If you're here for a weekend recap, it ain't happening.
Although I will say this weekend was slightly more relaxing than last (in which we brought dad home from the hospital). I spent Friday night at my parents place with M. We made him dinner. Saturday we attended a couples shower for some friends who are getting married on my birthday next year! (That'd be Valentines Day, for you newbies). Sunday M and I went on, gasp, a DATE. It was a brunch date, but since brunch is pretty much our favorite meal, and we both put on real pants, it counts. We also used a gift card. Cuz we' fancy. Stopped over at my dad's again for the Vikings game, and then went home to watch Walking Dead. Twas lovely.

If you're here for more wedding posts, carry on. :)

Between the first looks, and then afterwards, M and I took photos. (That's about all there is to say about these. :))


Photos of M laughing are probably some of my favorite, ever. I think he's the cutest :) 

For our thank you notes, naturally :) 


Up next: wedding party.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I always predicted that I'd be a hot sobbing mess on my wedding day. For the most part, I was wrong- the excitement and adrenaline kept me together. There were 3 moments though where I teared up. These happen to be three of my favorite moments of the entire day.

The first, was en route to see Matt for our first look. [Note: You're going to do, or not do, a first look on your own accord but I will say it was one of the best and easiest decisions I made in wedding planning. It didn't come down to doing it so we could take photos beforehand, although that was an added bonus. It wasn't solely because I find the photos absolutely adorable. It was because spending those few moments with him before meant SO much to me. Sure a smattering of people saw me in my dress before he did, but it meant something that he got to see it first, before 220 other people.]

I headed out from behind the altar and walked up the aisle towards the back of the church, where we were doing our first look on the back steps. Someone stepped out the back door while I was halfway up the aisle and THAT moment- is my favorite of the whole day: I saw him, back turned to me, standing at the base of the stairs, nervously switching from foot to foot, rubbing his hands together, and laughing. I had to stop and steady myself. (I'm tearing up even thinking about it, again). After I took a moment, it was time to have our first look. I'll let a few photos do the talking:

This is also one of my favorites- our photographer told me to lift up my dress and show him my shoes- he didn't know they were blue. This was his reaction: 

Matt and I went and took some photos of just us while the photographer went to grab my dad for our "first look". This was the second "favorite moment" and moment I almost cried. Mostly I was still riding the high from seeing Matt, so that helped me compose myself. I knew I wanted to do something special with my dad, so having our own first look just made sense. He'd joked that he was going to cry on my wedding day, but the closer it got the more convinced he was that he would cry. I rounded the corner from the side of the church and saw him visibly wiping tears away already- which totally got to me. It was a very sweet moment :)

I love those photos.

Up next: M and I.