Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Funny/memoriable moments of late....

Matthew has started playing soccer.  Brett is the coach.  Matthew has fun, running behind a group of kids, trying to get the ball.  He has scored a few times and seems to be having a blast.  Four year olds playing soccer is like herding cats who are all chasing the same ball.  Very interesting but hilarous as well.

I was playing music on my iPhone while cooking dinner last week and a song came on.  Matthew came up to me and said "Mommy, will you dance this song with me?"   Heart melted. 

We're about 3 weeks away from the Indy Mini.  Mom's training has been going very well.  She shouldn't have a problem completing it at all.  We got our confirmation cards in the mail last week which list our corral letters on it.  Mom looked at hers and said "Is this is, 46112?"  I said "Nope, that's your zip code."  LOL  She is in Corral U.  I'm in D, actually the best one I've ever had.  But since we're running together, I'll be in U with her.  And that's cool because running with her may be one of my top running moments this year. 

Speaking of running, Kylie ran a 4k around the Speedway track a few weekends ago.  She ran it with Brett and finished in about 32 minutes or so.  Looked like she had a blast.  Brett said she ran the first mile without stopping, a first for her!

Also on the running front, Dean Karnazes, a world famous Ultra Marathoner and author of several best-selling books, is running from LA to NYC to raise awareness and money for childhood obesity education.  He was scheduled to run through Plainfield on Saturday.  I was going to be in that area to run with a friend so I tracked him down and got my picture taken with him.  Then I found my running partner and she wanted to see him too.  So we found him again, this time parking behind him so we had to run a full mile to catch him.  It was very cool and he was super nice.  Worth stalking!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sarah and Mike's Wedding!!!!!

First off, this weekend was so wonderful, busy, fun, emotional and memorable.  Sarah and Mike seemed to be glowing during the ceremony and had a blast during the reception.  I'm so happy that we were able to be a part of this day.

I left Indy on Wednesday, early in the morning.  Quick lay over in O'Hare and then on to Portland.  Mom and dad picked me up at the airport and we were off to Sarah and Mike's for our work day.  We had a yummy lunch and then I started to work on writing out the place cards and gift bag tags.  There were a lot of cards, one for each guest so I was working for a few hours.  Mom, dad, Sarah, Mike and his parents, Lloyd and Murna, were busy making chocolate favor boxes.  Mike "loved" the tinsel, Dad couldn't cut the ribbon the same length and mom was anxiously waiting to sample the carmel and raspberry truffles.  The boys left after a while to run to Costco for beer and the ladies made up gift bags for the out of town guests.  Once we finished with these projects, we said good night to the Raffs and Sarah and headed to the hotel.  Mom, dad and I grabbed a yummy dinner during happy hour at the hotel's restaurant The Dineraunt.  I was pooped from my very long day and 3 hour time difference so I crashed on their pull-out couch at 7pm!

On Thursday, mom, dad and I walked to Morningside Cafe for breakfast.  Mom and I then walked to the riverfront and ran for a very pleasant 6 miles.  Waterfront Park  Dad took Mom's pearl necklace that Sarah was wearing for the wedding and got the clasp fixed.  We met back at the hotel and mom and I got cleaned up. Then we waited in the lobby Portland City Center Courtyard by Marriott for Jack, Brenda and Grandma to arrive.  They got there just after noon so we headed back to The Dineraunt for lunch.  Next we headed to Columbia Sportswear Employee Store to spend some money!  I got a running skirt, running shorts, brown sandals, black capris and a vest.  I got the kids their summer sandals and an outfit for each.  And I got Brett some shorts.  Mom and Dad got me a new pair of Trail running shoes for my birthday, can't wait to try them out!  Everyone got something, it was a successful trip.

Next we heading to Sarah and Mike's to meet up for dinner.  Sarah's BFF from childhood, Michelle, was there, along with her boyfriend, Jay.  We walked to the nearby Italian place and enjoyed a very fun dinner with lots of conversation.  Everyone was pretty tired so we drove back to the hotel (Thanks Dad for being a terrific chauffeur all weekend!!). 

Friday was our pampering day.  Mom, dad and I had breakfast at Mother's, which was super yummy.  Then Dad took us to Sarah's to start our fun day together.  First we started off with manis and pedis at a salon in The Alphabet District, near Sarah's old apartment.  Then we had lunch at Justa Pasta, which had fresh pasta and salads.  Next up was facials at Aveda Institute.  I enjoyed relaxing and my facial lady said I had beautiful skin (come to find out, we were all told that!).  After our facials, Sarah rushed us back to the hotel so we could get showered and ready for the rehearsal dinner.  I ran to mom's room to get my stuff and then ran up to my family's room since Brett and the kids had checked in an hour or so earlier.  It was great to see them, I had been missing them.  The kids liked the plane ride and really enjoyed taking the train from the airport to the hotel.  And they had lunch at a food cart outside and thought that was very cool.  Nice that they are easily entertained and well-behaved. 

I quickly showered, did my hair, helped Kylie and Matthew get ready and we were set.  Met dad, mom and Grandma downstairs and we hurried to the wedding site, The World Forestry Center, for the rehearsal.  It was nice to meet the best man, Dusty and his wife.  Josh and Tracy were there as well, they had just driven down from Vancouver.  Tracy looked really good considering how ill she has been feeling with her pregnancy.  We ran through the ceremony a few times, figured out our processional timing and were all set.  Unfortunately, mom was feeling very sick from lunch so she went back to the hotel.  Next up was the rehearsal dinner, which was at Harry's, a fun, casual tavern with very good food.  I had Mac and Cheese, Brett had a burger.  Several people, including Granny, had the ribs, which were massive.  "How many pigs had to die for this dinner??"

Mike's dad, Lloyd, gave a very nice toast, welcoming Sarah into the family.  He said they were excited to finally have a daughter.  Sarah and Mike thanked everyone for being part of their special day and gave us all very  nice, thoughtful gifts.  Kylie got a beautiful heart-shaped necklace to match her flower girl dress and Matthew was given a Batman toy so he would feel part of the group (it was a huge hit).  I also got a necklace to match my dress with earrings, so pretty!

It was getting late so Kylie, Sarah and myself went to her house for our "Girls Night In", that we were looking forward to.  Sarah rented "Father of the Bride" and we cuddled up on the couch to watch it.  Poor, tired Kylie was sleeping in the first 15 minutes!  But Sarah and I stayed up, laughing at the 90's eyebrows and clothing styles.  We talked about how excited she was and how much we were looking forward to the next day.  Then we headed bed.  BTW, Brett took Mike and the other boys out for drinks and Mike stayed in our hotel room with Matthew and Brett.

Saturday morning arrived - sunny and beautiful!!  Praise God!  We were up early so had time to laze around.  Kylie showered so I could put her hair up in foam curlers.  We watched "Father of the Bride" again so Kylie could see it this time, drank some mimosas and ate some cereal.  Dad dropped Mom off at 10:30 and we drove off to get our hair done.  So exciting! 

I asked the stylist to go a little funky with my hair since I finally have some length to it.  I was very  happy with the results:

The rest of the girls looked great too. 

Mom and Sarah got their make-up done while I took Kylie back to Sarah's to do her hair and my own make-up (I felt very comfortable doing this).  We drove back and picked up the ladies and went back to Sarah's for lunch.  I was getting texts from Brett who was helping my dad set up the ceremony site.  It was fun to hear how things were going.  About 3:00, we drove to the World Forestry Center! 

The room was set up beautifully.  Tables were decorated, flowers were arranged, the DJ was setting up.  The photographer soon arrived and we ladies got dressed. 

Sarah and Mike did most of their pictures before the wedding, can't wait to see all those!  Right about 5:00, we finished up and headed back to the ceremony site to wait for the start.  The DJ prepped us on when to walk in and we got lined up.  Next thing I knew, the music was starting and it was my turn to walk!  I walked too quickly at first and then remembered 1/2 way down to slow down, which felt awkward.  But I got to my spot and turned to see Kylie walk down.  She did a perfect job.  Then it was the big moment, Sarah and Dad walked down the aisle!  Sarah had a huge smile on her face, I got choked up when I saw my baby sister walk down the aisle to be married.  She looked beautiful and Mike didn't stop smiling as he watched her. 
Steve performed the ceremony, which went very smoothly.  They exchanged vows and rings and put letters and a bottle of wine into their Love Box.  Kylie held all the flowers like a champ when I arranged Sarah's train!  Then, they kissed and it was all done!

Now time to party!!!  The caterers quickly got the chairs taken up and moved the tables into place.  Josh, Tracy, Dad and I turned on the LED lights on the votives (no real candles were allowed) and double checked everything.  Brett got the slide show set up.  The guests were enjoying some cocktails and appetizers.  Sarah and Mike got a few more pictures in and then it was time to be announced as Mr. and Mrs. Mike Raff!

The food was good.  The slide show was a little delayed because the computer locked up but Brett got it fixed.  Everyone liked it, they picked some great pictures to put in it.  The toasts were next, I think I did a good job.  I talked about Sarah's adventurous personality, how she rode a bike so early, did a tri, ran a marathon, moved to Oregon on her own.....I meant to talk also about skydiving and climbing down the Grand Canyon but I forgot.  Oh well, I think everyone got the gist of it.   I ended by saying that their greatest adventure would be marriage and they were well prepared for that. 
Dancing followed the cake-cutting.  The dance floor stayed full the whole night!  Chicken dance, Electric slide, Ice Ice Baby, Journey (which the DJ played especially for Matthew which was so cool).  He played a lot of early 90's hip-hop and finished off with Sweet Child O' Mine and Wonderful Tonight.  Poor Matthew fell asleep after a few hours, he just found a wall by the cake table and laid down.  He was so perfect all day, he had been there since noon while Brett and Dad were setting everything up.  What a little trooper.
Kylie, on the other hand, rarely sat down!  She danced and talked and danced some more until the DJ shut it down.  She also did great and got rave reviews from all the guests. 

The perfect wedding ended about 11:00.  Brett, Mom, Dad and I torn down everything and packed it all up into the minivan and Sarah's car.  Brett and Mom drove Sarah's car while the kids and I rode with Dad.  We all went back to our hotel where they dropped Brett, the kids and I off.  Then mom and dad took Sarah's car, with the gifts, and everything else back to Sarah's house.  I think they got back to their room about 1:00.  Very long day for both of them but I don't think they minded. 

Sunday, we packed up and grabbed the train to the airport.  Brett and the kids left on one flight and I caught another one a few hours later.  it was a long trip home, I was ready for my own bed!

So, overall it was an amazing and unforgettable weekend.  Sarah and Mike seemed very  happy with how everything turned out.  Weddings are a lot of work but all the hard work pays off when you see how much fun your guests are  having.  I was so thrilled to have been a part of it!