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Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Today, it's been 3 years since I married my best friend. He's my rock. He's the only person that I don't want to throat punch on a daily basis.

For the last wedding anniversary post, I have pics of the ceremony and reception!

 1) The girls stopped to make sure that I was coming. I don't think they realized that I would follow after they took off.
2) Adorable at it's best.
3) Sand ceremony with the kids. I love this pic of Peanut.
4) Pouring our sand in on top of the kids sand.
5) Telling them what a great job they did.

For those that don't know, a sand ceremony is usually where the bride and groom each have a certain color of sand and they take turns pouring it in and then pour at the same time to represent the combining of two lives. Because once sand grains are mixed, there's no separating them again, it's popular in weddings. 
I picked this because I knew the kids would love it.
I had the red sand (Go Dawgs!), my husband had the blue sand, Button had purple, and Peanut had pink. I poured, then my husband poured, then each kid, and then my husband and I poured together at the end on top.

After the wedding, we all (bridal party included) danced back down the aisle to the Black Eyed Peas "I Got a Feeling". It was a blast. And that song always makes me tear up with happiness now.

And then when it was time to enter the reception, we and the bridal party were introduced and danced into the room to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal".


Three of these pics make me laugh. Can you guess which ones?
Top left- Button is making an awesome face while playing with her flower girl necklace. There is a possibilty that Peanut said something nutty.
Top right- Listening to my mom's Welcome Speech.
Bottom left- Button again making a funny face. She looks either deep in thought or confused.
Bottom right- That's just Peanut and me being weird. I love the look on my husband's face. It sums up our family sometimes. LOL. 

Kids Dancing:

They had a blast. Button's dancing was no match for the 30+ bobby pins in her hair though. All night, it slowly kept falling down.

And Peanut. Wow. She was not even 4 1/2 at the wedding and she out-danced EVERYONE. At one point, all of the guests made a circle around her on the dance floor and cheered her on. She was totally oblivious to it though. In that 3rd pic? She discovered that one wall was mirrors. So she's dancing and "showing the mirror". She was sweaty and tired but having the time of her life. She got sad when we said she needed to go to bed (it was after 10 and we had to be up early for the breakfast send-off). But, she didn't pitch a fit. She just said we needed to do it all again soon.

It was a wonderful day/night. Everyone from my side flew up from down south and for some, it was their first time in Minneapolis. And other than the off-and-on rain, it was great weather. (It was in the mid to upper 60's which made the southerners COLD.)

To close out the wedding anniversary posts, I leave you with a few pics that were shot right before my husband and I saw each other that day, a ride in an enormous limo/hummer thingie, and us during our first dance, which we included the kids in towards the end. I guess you could say that these are my favorites.

3 years down and many more to go!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wedding Anniversary, Part 2

Yesterday, I showed you some photos of wedding day. Today, you get to see the details. You know, the stuff that brides usually stress about for months and months and months?

I didn't stress much. No, really. We had a year and a half to plan so I planned here and there and by the time we were 4-5 months out, there wasn't much left to finalize or do.

We did have a wedding planner but I was usually the one picking stuff out... at home/online. I mainly wanted a planner to deal with the vendors and make sure the day ran smoothly. (I am a firm believer that your bridal party is NOT made up of your staff and therefore they should be doing your bidding. And neither should your mom. This horse crap you see online about bridesmaids "duties" is a lot of doody.)

We found and fell in love with Sarah from Lasting Impressions Weddings. She books up pretty quick due to the amount of times she and her staff have been awarded "Best Of" by the her brides on The Knot. But if you can get her, she's wonderful.
(We actually interviewed 4 planners the day we found her and none of them compared. From the start, we felt like we had known her forever.)

So, wanna see some detail shots of the wedding and the CAKES? (Sorry. I love cake. Especially wedding cake.)

The details:

1) The head table. Linens from Linen Effects in Minneapolis. I loved them. There was a possibility that the black and white with red theme would look weird, or as my mom was worried about... goth. Russ made sure that it wasn't either. It was beautiful. Our table had black linens, while the rest of the guest tables had white linens with black chair covers.
2) Guest tables with the GOBO in the background. We used Instant Request for the DJ and the lighting. And when we approached them about making our skyline (a theme throughout the wedding) appear lit up somewhere, they made it happen. What's a GOBO? A partial screen used in front of a spotlight to project a shape.
3 The head table floral arrangement. Holy crap. I was blown away when I saw this. We met with Russell at Wisteria Design Studio just talked about what we wanted. And we saw a mock-up or two but it was the smaller arrangements at the guest tables. Our table had a HUGE clear vase stuffed with flowers and overflowing orchids. The table part was acrylic boxes filled with water, flowers, and candles. I could not have loved it more.

Candy bar!

I have a sweet tooth. My husband has a sweet tooth. So we had to have candy!

I spent a lot of time choosing just the right candy, while making sure it was still red, white, and black. (Dark chocolate pretzels count as black.) Do you know how hard it was to find black candy that was NOT licorice flavored?? The little boxes on the end were picked up at Micheal's Arts and Crafts and then filled with personalized M&M's.


We were lucky enough to be able to hire Gateaux Inc. for our wedding cakes. (They can be a little pricey and only take 3 events per weekend.) We were more than fine paying a bit for more for our cakes, especially knowing what these ladies could do.

Robin, the owner of Gateaux, met with us and loved the skyline theme of the wedding. So she incorporated it into our main cake. Yes, those are LED lights behind the buildings. Yes, that cherry on top lit up. (My husband came up with the idea and she told him, if you can find something that will work, we'll make it happen. He went to town looking for a light and ball for the cherry.) 

As beautiful as this cake was (and yummy), it wasn't what had people talking. No, that would be the other cake. Some call it a groom's cake but it was ours since we BOTH had a sweet tooth. And the cake design was personal for us.

Before I moved to MN, I sent my husband and the kids a box. A box for Valentine's Day FULL of candy. (The thing weighed more than 20 pounds.) It was in a small UHAUL box and had all sorts of delicious treats in it, like Zebra Cakes and doughnuts. The kids nicknamed it the "nummie box" and we still have it today.

When we told Robin about the box, she wanted to see pics and maybe the actual box to see if it could be made into a cake. We gave her the box and a list of treats that could normally be found in the box at any given time.


Yes, that's cake. And yes, the shipping label was edible and looked real. Even my handwriting and the handwriting of the post office person. She scanned it onto edible paste, or something. It even has a dent in it to show that the box has wear and tear. (If you look right next to the Butterfinger, you can see a word written down. If you have read the very first quote in Kids Quotes at the top of the page, it's from Button. It was when we kept forgetting what she called 'fingerprints' and when we thought about it, we wrote it on the box so we wouldn't forget again. Robin even made that appear real.)

Treats featured: Milk Duds, Gummy Bears, powdered doughnuts (it looks so real since it's flaking off), Cadbury Creme Eggs, Hershey Miniatures,Swiss Cake Rolls, Laffy Taffy and more.

My step father kept poking at the cake, not believing it was really cake. (The adults were fascinated with this thing.)

And that cake was DELICIOUS. We had 3 flavors because we just couldn't decide on what to choose. (Instead of tasting samples there, she has a Sample Day a few times a month. We chose to try 7 flavors. What we got was a bag FULL of cake. 7 flavors, yes. But 2 small pieces of each of the 7 flavors. We were THRILLED and really full afterwards.
What we chose:
1) Chocolate Chip Mint: Our Devil's Food Cake, filled with peppermint chocolate chip mousse.
2) Tuxedo cake: We use one layer of Devil's Food and one layer of White Cake held together with our rich fudge filling.
3) Spring Favorite:  This yellow cake is filled with a combination of Bavarian Creme and Strawberry filling.

I could eat the Spring Cake all day, everyday. We thought for sure when we got our samples that being chocolate people, we would not care as much for that one. WE WERE WRONG. The minute we tasted it, we both moaned and started scarfing it down.

Both cakes were featured on Cake Wrecks-Sunday Sweets.
Skyline Cake
Box Cake - no one believed it was a cake!

Tune in tomorrow (anniversary day!) for the pics of the ceremony and reception.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our 3rd wedding Anniversary is approaching

Wow. This Wednesday, it's been 3 years since my husband and I tied the knot.
Time stands still for no one.

In honor of the day that I married the most amazing man that I have ever known, I am posting a few pics from our wonderful day. There will be 3 posts total, one for each year of marriage. The final post will be on Wednesday, our 3rd wedding anniversary.

I was nervous. As much as I talk, I actually don't like being the center of attention. And the thought of everyone at the wedding staring at me all day/night was making me want to vomit.

Our photographer had a few problems with me before the wedding. I just couldn't relax. Wasn't happening, no matter what she or anyone else said to me.

I remember getting my hair and make-up done, watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding on TV in the hotel. That was about the only thing that kept me calm.

Want to see some pics?

Getting ready:

1) Me and my mommy
2) Being my normal self while my mom and best friend tried to get my dress on me from the bottom up. But that damn tulle skirt wasn't allowing that. Hence, my crossing one eye.
3) This picture is hysterical to me. They decided that over my head would be the best way to get the dress on but watch out for my hair!

The ladies, waiting:

1) My soon to be mother-in-law, and my twin nieces, Bug and Noodle.
2) Bug wearing her "getting ready hoodie" that I had made for all of the bridesmaids 
and the moms. That skyline logo is the same skyline at the bottom of each of my posts. A friend of ours made it for us. (He's a graphic designer.) I watermark the crap out of it because it's ours.
3) Peanut watching cartoons as she gets her hair done.
4) Button being sassy. Both her and Peanut had their own sweats... 
pink hoodie and pants that said "Flower Girl" on the back with little tiaras on the front.

My husband and I had already planned do to a "first look". Good thing we did, thinking back. It was the only thing that calmed both of us down before the big show. After that, I was able to relax.

First Look:

1) Sneaking up on him. I thought for sure he'd hear the mountains of tulle coming his way.
2) I think I startled him. Hahahaha
3) His reaction to being startled was to laugh. Better than throwing something at me!
4) Finally calming down and ready to get it all started.

Since we saw each other before the wedding, we were able to get all of the family and bridal party pics out of the way, before the reception. As a wedding guest in the past, I always hated waiting for hours for the bride, groom, and bridal party to come in and get the party started.


Top, left to right:
My husband, the kids, and me with my mom and step-dad.
My husband, the kids, and me with my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and brother-in-law.
Me with my mom, who looked SO beautiful. She was glowing.

Bottom, left to right:
The 3 loves of my life.
My friend and her twins, Bug and Noodle. (They are now taller than BOTH of us. So upset.)
My beautiful girls, who were the best behaved kids at the place.

Tomorrow's post will be about the details!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Personal Hygiene Took a Holiday

I know grandparents like to 'spoil' the kids but there is a fine line between 'spoiling' and 'enabling'.

The kids went to see grandpa all this past weekend and we hoped that all of the talks about being 'responsible' were sinking in. The only good thing that happened was that Peanut didn't bite her nails like she usually does. She was SO proud to show us on Sunday when we picked them up. ***

Usually, Grandpa feeds them crap. Okay, fine. It's just a day or two. But this weekend was the worst. For breakfast Saturday, they had garlic cheese toast? Cheeseburgers for lunch on Saturday and more cheese toast for dinner? Breakfast on Sunday? More garlic cheese toast and pizza for lunch.
This man had a heart attack a few years ago due to the crap he shovels into his body. So, it's a good idea to teach the kids to do it, too? No.

And neither kid brushed their teeth. ALL WEEKEND. What. The Hell.
They brush them morning and night here and they have NEVER tried to get out of it. Never. And I know they are just 7 and 10, but they know better.
And why didn't the adult make sure they did it?
That explained why Peanut's breath smelled like feet.

And to top it off? He bought them new bikes (too small for both kids) and no helmets.
Look, I am not a 'helicopter parent' but helmets are a necessity. They aren't great at riding bikes and have a tendency to fall over when making turns. I don't care if they wear pads or not but helmets are needed with clumsy little kids.
And it's not a matter of one of them 'might' have fallen.
Peanut DID fall off. And she hit her head, left temple.
Luckily, it wasn't too serious. But it could have been. Dammit.

I told my mom about it all today. And usually, she says stuff like 'rules are different at grandparent's houses'. Today? She was astounded... and disgusted about the personal hygiene. She would have NEVER let me go all weekend not brushing my teeth. Gross.

Rules have to be somewhat the same when the kids travel to other houses in the family. It's too confusing for a child to have certain rules at one house and almost no rules at another. For example,  cleaning up their crap. Daycare always made them clean up. School always makes them clean up. We have ALWAYS made them clean up. The grandparents don't make them clean up. And it's tough to correct that. And it's always US that has to put the work into getting the bad habits back out of them.

Back when the kids stayed with their bio mom for a week at a time, we had a HELL of a time getting them back to normal the next week. She let them stay up way too late, get up way too early, eat junk, etc. (But she did make them brush their TEETH!) It was just a week but to a kid like Peanut, a week is the equivalent to a month.

Pretty much every time we go out of town, we send the kids to one of the grandparents and then they switch off mid week. And every time we come home, we go through stuff similar to this mess. And it's killing us. We cannot handle much more of it. Something has to be done before we lose our freaking minds... or the kids teeth rot out.

***I can see why she didn't bite them. You wouldn't want to stick anything that nasty and dirty in your mouth either. Nasty. Looked like she has been digging in the dirt all weekend.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Weekend Recap- The One With Yummy Cake

This weekend was the first weekend that we have not had the kids since early January when we came back from Tennessee for a family visit.

And it was nice. Weird, but nice.

Friday afternoon, I had a surprise planned for my husband.
Our 3 year wedding anniversary is on the 12th of this month. And we never got to eat anniversary cake due to our wedding venue slicing up and serving our top cake layer. (Still annoys me.)
Back in April, I got in touch with our wedding cake baker and asked if they could make us a small cake for this anniversary and they said that could fit us in.

Not spilling the beans on that surprise was so freaking hard. I wanted to tell my husband a dozen times. But I kept it in.

So, Friday around 2:30, we left to do some "errands". Once we got into Plymouth, my husband finally asked where we were going. I made up some crap on the spot about looking for a jewelry store that I saw online. He was none the wiser.
When I pulled up in front of the baker, he looked over and said "What the hell? This is Gateaux." and I said I had a meeting with our baker. He looked slightly confused but just days before, we had talked about maybe getting her to make us a 'family birthday' cake next year.

We walked in and when one of the cake ladies came out to see us, she brought the cake in a box. I looked at my husband who looked confused and asked if he knew what that was on the table. He said "No, I don't know cause you didn't tell me shit". Bwhahahaha

When I opened it and explained, he was happy of course. I mean, duh. It's wedding cake. Our favorite flavor from the wedding. (Yellow cake with strawberry and Bavarian creme filling. Tastes like a really wonderful toaster strudel.)

We left there and ran home to drop the cake off and then went to get the kids. We took them to eat and then waited around for Grandpa to call after he got home. We were kid free by 5:30.

Friday night we didn't do much. I did some laundry and we watched Wipeout reruns.

Saturday, we heard it raining and decided the bed was the best place to be. No kids to feed meant that we could both sleep in as long as we felt like sleeping. Love it.
That night we went out to dinner, just the two of us. And that was strange. When the hostess asked "how many?" I almost said 4 since that's what we are used to saying.

Sunday, my husband was working on the thing we call a backyard and I sat out in the SUN. Yes, the clouds finally cleared up and the sun came out. It was nice. Sleeveless shirt, capris, and sandals.

We picked the kids up by 5 and then it all went to hell.
More on that tomorrow.