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First Dance

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Ok everyone. I admit it. We cheated.

We went three months after the actual wedding without dancing and considered saving our “first dance” for the reception…but I gave in and finally asked Charles to dance with me at a wedding in August. It just seemed wrong to not dance with my own husband!

Choosing a song for our “first dance” (or third if we want to be honest) was probably one of the hardest things we did. I had a full list of possible songs in mind…all of which were struck down by Charles as being too “top 40” or too overused.

He would hear random songs when we were in the car together and suggest them…but I didn’t really want to open our reception with Flock of Seagulls or anything similar.

It probably wasn’t until maybe two weeks before the wedding that we finally decided on a song (with lots of help from our best man, Gavin).

He suggested Ben Harper’s Beloved One, and as soon as I heard the lyrics, I knew it was just perfect for us:

We have both been here before
Knockin’ upon love’s door
Begging for someone to let us in
Knowing this we can agree to keep each other company
Never to go down that road again

My beloved one
My beloved one

Your eyes shine through me
You are so divine to me
Your heart has a home in mine
We won’t have to say a word
With a touch all shall be heard
When I search my heart it’s you I find

My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one

You were meant for me
I believe you were sent to me
From a dream straight into my arms
Hold your body close to me
You mean most to me
We will keep each other safe from harm

My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one

Pictures speak 1,000 words…

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Yay! Last night (a couple weeks ahead of schedule) we got to go through our album of pictures online.

It totally brings back some of the sweet sweet memories that were starting to feel like they were so long ago.

We absolutely LOVE them. Besides remembering what we were doing that day, it also reminds us of so many of the loved ones that shared the day with us.

Our photographers (mattstantonart.com) were FANTASTIC. No only do they capture some beautiful images, but they’re awesome people themselves. They never asked us to do any of the trendy poses that we just aren’t really into doing, and they never tried to rush us through the not-so-fun posed shots either. But they had beautiful images in mind as soon as they saw the location. And in taking us away from the party for a few minutes to go romping through the hay fields, they also helped Charles and I have some quiet “alone” time (well, we were nearly alone) away from all the bustle and noise.

Having such laid back and fun people follow us around all day made the day even more special!

My Name is Zoom and I live on the Moon…

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

But I came down to earth just to sing this tune, cause hey! It’s my birthday!

Or something like that…

Since we celebrated our wedding for four months, it only makes sense that my birthday gets at least a month, right?

My birth-month began at Nationals Park with the Nats clinching the NL East. YAY!

On the second day, our good friend’s mom had us over for a fabulous fall dinner. Apple crisp. Yum!

At Monday’s game. Michael Morse included us in his champagne celebration.

On the third day, the Nats closed the season leading the entire league.

And yesterday, one of my super-fun cousins had twins!

I can’t wait to see what’s in store tonight…

 

 

My letter from Santa

December 19, 2011 2 comments

I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this. I admit I’m doing so without his permission. But I’m guessing that Santa reads my blog and that’s how he knew I’d so appreciate hearing from him.

When I checked my mail on Saturday (as you know I love to do), there was a letter waiting for me with the return address “123 Reindeer Lane, North Pole.”

The letter offers such a concise year in review for me, and I thought others might enjoy hearing from the magical man themselves.

Dear Mary,

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve corresponded with you. I’ve been a little backed up with all the new children that have been coming in the world, but I didn’t want you to think that I hadn’t been keeping my eye on you through the years.

As I was checking my list for this year, I see that you’ve been very, very good and very, very busy.

I would like to say best wishes on your upcoming nuptials next year. I’m sure that you have picked a great man to spend the rest of your life with.

I also see that your nieces and nephews voted you their favorite aunt. That is quite an accomplishment.

Lastly on my list I see that you and your mother have been very close and making lasting memories throughout the year. That must have been one great road trip that you took together. Although the circumstances were not that great, it was nice that you could bond together.

My elves are pulling me away to get ready for my journey in a couple weeks. I don’t want you to worry about a thing this Christmas. Keep holding strong to the Christmas faith and I’ll take care of the rest.

Merry Christmas,

Santa Claus

We were about this old when Anne got her own letter from Santa.

In so few words, so many moments and emotions were captured. My engagement, of course. My relationship with my nieces and nephews (which only grew this year when Finn was sick…and when from the hospital he declared I was his favorite aunt). And the year of weddings and funerals – which included Mom and I driving from DC to Florida and back through South Carolina all in one weekend.

This has certainly been a year of major growth in my relationships with not just my old family, but also my new one that is forming as Charles and I prepare to become our own family.

Thank you Santa for all the reminders. And may all my readers and their families have the best Christmases this year!

Memorable Signs of the Season

December 2, 2011 1 comment

Growing up, most of the window sills in my grandmother’s house were full of potted plants. And where she didn’t have a window sill (in the bathroom maybe), she’d have a rooting jar hanging near the window for ivy or other creepers to grow out of.

When she passed away, in addition to assorted “things” (I never dreamed I’d have such a collection of carnival glass), many of us grandchildren were also gifted plants.

I’ve had this Christmas cactus in my kitchen window since I moved into my house more than 2 years ago. This is it’s third Christmas with me.

Every year, come frost outside, I’d anxiously wait to see if any buds would appear.

Christmas cacti are fickle creatures. Everything has to be *just* right for them to bloom. I always thought it was silly that Mom kept her giant one in a room no one went into so we hardly ever saw it. But come Christmastime, when the room stayed nice and cool since it was closed, that thing would bloom like crazy!

Maybe it was turning my heat way down over the Thanksgiving holiday when I was gone, but FINALLY I got blooms on my plant!

Since I’d never seen it bloom, I assumed the blooms would be orange. My grandmother put masking tape on the pots so that when they weren’t in bloom, she knew which one was which color.

Maybe I’m color blind, but does that look orange? I think it looks prettier than I imagined orange to be.

This is only the first of 3 or 4 buds to fully open up. So I guess I have plenty of Christmas time coming ahead of me!

Many Mini Chicken Casseroles

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Normally, I hate the word casserole. I make one exception.

My favorite food as a child was mom’s chicken casserole – mostly for the stove top topping, but the mushrooms are pretty good too!

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts (cooked. boiled or grilled is fine)
1 box of Stove Top chicken stuffing, prepared as directed
broccoli (frozen works fine)
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mushrooms (canned work well)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Shred the chicken and place in the bottom of casserole dish (or in my case, 7 mini casserole dishes). Mix together remaining ingredients (minus the stove top). Add half the soup mixture on top of chicken. Add broccoli and cover with remaining mixture. Top with stove top. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the stove top browns and the mixture is bubbly.

Enjoy! Yum. Talk about comfort food!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Since the Nationals came to Washington, a popular Father’s day or birthday gift from me to my father was often baseball tickets.

As soon as they arrived my father was so excited for me. Growing up in Boston, he was used to the “hometown team” feeling that baseball produces. On the metro before every game, people just seem happier, more hopeful and more excited. There’s chatter in the air (sometimes even between strangers. *Gasp* Imagine that on a DC Metro!). It’s just such a happy-summertime feeling that is somewhat unexplainable, but in my opinion, unique to baseball.

It’s something I’ll always be grateful to have shared with my dad.

Since he’s died, honestly, I haven’t been to as many games. I used to go to 10 or 20 a year, lately it’s been 2 or 3. It’s a bitter-sweet feeling to leave a game longing to call him and share in the excitement of a win or a particular amazing play.

Tuesday night I went to my second game of the 2011 season (I have yet to miss an opening day. They are particularly hard since that’s where mom and dad met Charles…but I can’t give up on that record!).

First, we chose to sit in the exact section I sat in with my parents the last time I took them to a father’s day game.

Then, I noticed the moon. It was eerily large! The moon is another connection I have to my father. He was always fascinated with the sky (perhaps from reading a lot of Heinlein novels). He would take us outside on August nights to watch the meteor showers…and I’ll never forget the time we stood in the doorway once and watched waves of red light dance across the night sky. I’ll never understand how the northern lights were visible in Virginia, but it was incredibly amazing.

Mom told me a story once that as a child, Dad asked his father why pieces of the moon couldn’t be brought down to earth. Then they wouldn’t need streetlamps. After he died and she had to choose a paint color for the house, she chose one called “man on the moon”…it just seemed like one Dad would like!

After I noticed the moon…I couldn’t help but notice the incredible 7th inning. There was nothing Dad loved more than to see baseball players PLAY. Not give up when they’re behind…not half-assly play outfield and barely run for the ball (no I’m not referring to any particular former Boston players…ok, maybe I am)…but to put their heart and soul into a game, come from behind, and play an amazing game.

We got that Tuesday night. I couldn’t help but speak Dad’s words as the Nats played what would be a 6-run inning, turning to Gretchen, and saying “Now THIS is baseball!”

Happy Father’s Dad.

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