Posted by: julieanne | April 17, 2010

Boston: The day we walked around the world

The third day was the biggest sightseeing day. Carla had to leave early the next day, so we had to get everything in before she left.

It was a beautiful day, so we did lots of walking to get where we needed to go. We walked through Boston Public Garden, where we were greeted by George Washington.

The park was really nice, and I can only imagine that it will get even better as the flowers start blooming.

They didn’t have the swan boats up and running yet, which was a little sad, but oh well. Next time. :)

The book Make Way for Ducklings is set in Boston Public Garden, and there is a statue there to commemorate it. We were there soon after Easter, and the ducks were wearing flowery straw hats.

I tried on two different days to get a photo of the ducks by themselves, but I think this is close to impossible. So, my statue photo is complete with small children riding the ducks.

We headed through Boston Common, which was the site of various hangings and military scuffles.

The gold dome in this photo is the State House. Our Duck guide (as well as Sula) told us that the gold was covered up with black during WWII, because they were afraid that it would be a target for bombs. Even on cloudy day the gold is visible.

We walked a little more, and ended up at a bookstore and a fabric store (neither of which is very surprising). Carla bought a very exciting novel about a band/orchestra, and I hope that she’ll pass it around and let all of us read it. We also bought some fabric at the fabric store, for a project that will get its own post later.

After the book and fabric stores, Carla and I set out on our own. We got on the T, and promptly got lost. We weren’t actually too lost…we were on the right train, just had the name of the exit wrong. Luckily, our trusty cell phones let us look up where we needed to go. (How did we ever function without GPS capable cell phones?)

On our way we passed the bridge that I like…

…and then we were in Charlestown.I decided that I would enjoy living on this street below (I think it was called Pleasant Street).

 

We walked up the hill to the Bunker Hill monument.

We headed inside the side area…

…and then we began the 291 step walk up the spiral staircase to the top. Let me tell ya, this was way harder than I thought it was going to be. Carla and I were both glad to see the top.

I took a few pictures out the windows…

(bridge again)

…and we recovered enough to head back down the crazy spiral stairs. I felt like we should stay up there for an hour or so to make it worth climbing the stairs. :)

We decided to follow the red-brick road of the Freedom Trail, which led us through some nice residential streets…

…and down to the U.S.S. Constitution.

We had to memorize the Old Ironsides poem in junior English, and various lines kept running through my head.

We got to walk around the top deck, but they had the lower decks closed for some reason.

There was also a WWII battleship, but it had already closed for the day. I actually don’t remember the name of this ship, which is probably bad. I’ll add it later if I find it.

It was getting towards eating time at this point, so we walked back towards town and figured out where we were meeting everyone.

We had to cross the street to get to the T, and I couldn’t help but take a photo of a guy playing baseball on a grassy area. It just seemed so Boston (I wonder if he owns a boat, too?).

We wanted to eat at a pizza place called Upper Crust, so we met and walked to the first location. It turned out to be tiny, with only one long table for sitting and lots of people already there. So, we walked back through the Public Garden…

 

to the second location. This location was like the first; really busy and really small. So we headed to the 3rd location. At this point, I was getting pretty hungry. I hadn’t had much to eat that day (do to personal choice, not due to lack of my hostess trying to feed me), so I snacked on some peanut butter crackers. We got to the third location, and I ordered fairly quickly (cause dude, I was really hungry). My friends ordered after me, and I attempted to be patient. I was a bit concerned when their pizza came out before my calzone, so I went to ask about it. Turns out, my order didn’t get printed from the register, and therefore didn’t get cooked. Isn’t that how it works? If you’re kinda hungry, your food comes quickly, but when you’re starving it either takes forever or gets lost somewhere. They made up for it by giving me extra pieces of pizza, which were *huge.* There was one piece that was about the size of half a pizza. There’s a photo out there of me holding both boxes. The food was really good, and they did their best to take care of things when there was a problem. Here’s my tip about that…if you want to go to the Upper Crust, go to the location on the south side (Tremont Street area).

We headed home and began to work on our craft project for the night. We realized that it was really easy to cut out sewing patterns where there were 3 of us, so we did that for a bit.

 

Vada-kitty was very eager to help Carla trace her pattern.

We also used Google Maps to calculate how far we walked. Altogether, it was a little over 7 miles. I don’t think I’ve ever walked 7 miles in a day, but it was definitely worth it. If you’re ever in Boston, take the time (even if it’s more than one day) to see as much as possible on the Freedom Trail.

Posted by: julieanne | April 15, 2010

Boston, Day 2!

During our Duck tour, one of the things that our guide mentioned was a free organ concert at Trinity Church. So, on Friday morning we headed out to Trinity Church…

to listen to Christian Lane perform on the organ. During the first song I really thought I was going to see the Phantom jump out from somewhere, but (unfortunately?) that didn’t happen. He played a lullaby that I really liked, and showed that the organ can be more than just the heavy, loud instrument that I’m used to hearing.
Besides the organ concert, we also got free admission into the church. The church itself was beautiful!


Front of the church


Front close-up

There were numerous stained glass windows…

…and lots of nice architectural elements.

We met Sula, Tom, and Gracie for a quick lunch-on-the-go, and headed out to the North part of town. Our first stop was Old North Church

…which is where Paul Revere’s lanterns were hung in the steeple during the Revolutionary War.

The church is still an active church, but is set up the way it would be back in the day. There was a brief talk, and the speaker told us that you used to have to buy your pew. You basically bought a big box, and then had to add things to it to sit on.

One of the pews was set up the way it looked back in the day.

Here’s the view of the front of the church…

…and the back of the church.

There was something important about the clock, but I forget what it was. The speaker did say that the angles were stolen, and were on their way to somewhere else when they were intercepted.

Behind the church was a statue of Paul Revere.

After the church we headed to Paul Revere’s house. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so there’s not much to add here. I learned that Paul Revere had lots of children, and had 3 or 4 named John, and 2 or 3 named Mary.

We walked down to Faneuil Hall. We didn’t get to go in because there was an orchestra rehearsal. This didn’t register much in my brain at the time, but I later had the “Woah, the Boston Pops people were in there??? And we didn’t try to sneak in??” thought. I’m not totally sure that’s what was going on, but anyway.

We wandered through the marketplace, sat a bit, then headed home. It had been raining/drizzling all day, and we figured it was time to head on home and get out of the rain.

We ended our day by playing a game similar to Balderdash, but everyone is working together. It was a lot of fun, and brought out some of our hidden talents. Carla was lucky enough to hit on the drawing space most of the time, and she drew this lovely piece of art:

Start at the top and work down. I was *clueless* and never would’ve gotten it. Here’s a hint: It’s not the Great Barrier Reef, no matter how many times I guessed it. :)

Posted by: julieanne | April 14, 2010

Boston!

Firstly, I need to say a tremendous thanks to Sula, Tom, and Gracie for putting up with me and showing me around the city. It is always so nice to spend time with “old” friends. (Um, somehow I’ve known Carla and Sula for almost 10 years? Craaaazy.)

I got to Boston around 1pm, which left us plenty of time to get started seeing the sights. One of the first things I saw was a knitted fencepost! I saw a couple of these at various places in the city, which I think is pretty neat.

We walked down to the Boston Public Library (photo taken on day 2 when it was rainy, but fits better here). If you know me and my friends, it’s not surprising that we started our trip by visiting the library. :)

I expected to go into a regular library with old books, but that’s not true! I loved that there was a courtyard in the middle of the library. This is a much nicer study place than the little rooms that were in my college library. :) (Although, all the crazy tourists taking photos might make it a bit difficult to concentrate.)

The top photo is the courtyard from where we entered, and the bottom one is from the other side heading towards the exit. There’s even a fountain in the middle, although it wasn’t working while we were there.

Carla and I took some time to peek out from behind the columns…

before we headed inside to take some photos. The lighting was difficult, but I think this gives a pretty good idea of how the library was made. It was very intricate, with lions and paintings everywhere. It was a very beautiful place.

The big plan for the first night was to do the Boston Duck Tour. I went on a similar tour in Branson, and it was a lot of fun. The Ducks were used in WWII, although most are reproductions at this point. Our conductor was Hardley Davidson, who was very knowledgeable and very funny.

It was a bit difficult to take photos due to traffic and starting and stopping, but I got a few that I like. (The next 3 photos are from the tour.)

One of the things that I really enjoyed about Boston is that it was very much a city, but seemed very livable. In Nashville and Chicago, it feels like the city is somewhere you go to work, but that not many people live there. In Boston, businesses and residences overlapped and were next to each other. I loved the look of the brownstones, which I’d only seen in TV or movies. The photo above is a street right across from Boston Common.

I loved this bridge. There were two columns like this one, and just added an interesting visual to the city. (I think I’ll have more photos of it later.)

We went out on the water in the Duck, and attempted to not hit any sailboats. :) I feel like this shows how the city felt…water and boats and people enjoying themselves, older buildings (I believe there’s steeple on the right), and then the newer modern buildings.

 

I enjoyed the statues, as well. This one shows The Tortoise and the Hare, and is in Copley Square (in front of Trinity Church and across from Boston Public Library). One of the stories that Hardley Davidson told us is that there were some kids skateboarding around this statue, and a lady told them that they needed to stop. It turns out that she was the artist (Nancy Schon), and was worried about her sculpture being destroyed. The kids were very polite, and told her that, with all the parks and places in Boston, there was no place where they could hang out and skate (all the parks said no skating). She told them to design it, and she’d help pay for it. (Story is HERE, and it’s true!)

After the Duck tour, we headed home for the night. We played with baby Gracie, and I attempted to bond with the furbabies. As you can see, Vince was not too thrilled with me. :) He would let me pet him, but he would pull his head away and seem slightly exasperated that I was bothering him. I have to say though, I’ve never seen a cat that can communicate the way Vince does.

Vada liked me a little more. I love orange kitties, and she’s a sweetie.

If you’re going to Boston, I highly recommend the Duck tour, especially if you can go early on. It was a bit expensive, but I think it is a great way to see how the city is laid out. I’d probably recommend not going during rush hour, because later in the week we saw Ducks in places that we didn’t go to on our tour. It could be that they started in a different place, or left out some of the things that we saw, or they might’ve been able to see more because of less traffic. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the city and the history that goes with it, and it also helps you figure out which places you’ll want to see in more depth later.

Next up…Day 2!

Posted by: julieanne | April 12, 2010

Chicago Day 2

One thing that Becca and I have in common is that we both enjoy our sleep time, and get worn out with too much activity. After the big city day on the first day, we decided to spend the second day hanging around the suburbs. We slept in, and I uploaded photos and worked on my blog post. We went to see Dustin at work briefly, and then went by a yarn store called Knit Happens. I didn’t initially plan to go to two yarn stores, but we saw this one as we were driving back from getting pizza. It’s down the road from Becca, which is pretty cool. It’s a newly opened store, and you can tell that she’s still getting stock in. It was laid out *very* nicely, and the owner shared that she used to design marketing layouts for big companies. It would definitely be a great place to sit and knit, with a big table and nice chairs right when you walk in, and plenty of open space. There are some good solid wool yarn lines, but the sock yarn was mostly self-striping. (This was actually a good thing, cause I’d already bought yarn the day before!) If you’re in the suburbs and need a good store, I’d encourage you to check it out.

After the yarn store I made my first ever trip to…

IKEA. That sound you heard on Wednesday mid-day? That was my head exploding. It had THREE stories, and was all around amazing. I saw some cube bookshelves that I really want for work, and I even knew where I would put them. I will definitely have to look into that when I have a little extra money. We wandered around there for a good while, and I really wish there was one in Nashville.

On the way home Becca showed me one of the places they had lived, and pointed out other things along the way. We decided to go home and eat leftover pizza, which I correctly predicted was already eaten by Dustin. :) We went to an Italian pick your pasta place, which was really good. We sat and talked before heading back home.

We took naps (I know, we’re exciting), then sat around and had discussions until Dustin went to bed. I realized at this point that I hadn’t taught Becca to knit yet, so we pulled out all the stuff. She caught on very quickly, which was awesome. It’s so fun to see others learning and enjoying something that I enjoy so much!

I left early the next morning to head to Boston. The exciting thing about this flight is that they sent my boarding slip to my phone! It was pretty cool.

My trip to Chicago was fantastic, and I’m so glad that I was able to make it part of my spring break. Becca and Dustin are awesome, and I really hope that I get to visit them again soon.

Posted by: julieanne | April 11, 2010

Chicago Day 1

It’s Spring Break time! This year we are lucky enough to get 2 weeks for spring break, so I decided to plan a vacation. I’m spending two days in Chicago with my cousin Becca (and husband Dustin), and 5 days in Boston with college friends Carla and Sula (and baby Gracie!).

First up was Chicago!

I had a panic moment on the flight when I realized I didn’t have my boarding pass (after I was on the plane), so I didn’t know where to sit. Turns out it was “general admission seating,” and you just sat wherever. I ended up on the very back row aisle, so that wasn’t bad. I flew in on Monday night, which left enough time for us to chat and figure out what we were going to do the next day. We had big plans for Tuesday, and crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t rain. We got lucky on that part…we woke up to thunderstorms, but we only experienced a little mist at the very beginning of the day.

We took the train into the city, and walked across the street to the Willis Tower.

It seems that the Sears Tower recently changed it’s name, but I don’t know if anyone is really cares. Our boat tour guide called it “the former Sears Tower,” which I found pretty amusing. I called it “The Tower Formerly Known As Sears” in my head. Anyway, I looked around at some of the history stuff and watched a short video, then took the elevator up to the 103rd floor. On the way up, there’s a view screen that shows as you pass the height of famous world landmarks. It’s a crazy fast elevator, and it did some shaking on the way up. I wandered around and took a ton of photos of the city…

 

…and went out on the glass viewer things. It’s crazy that just a few inches of glass are all that stand between you and the road 103 floors below.

There was a man in a wheelchair that had a service dog, and the dog planted his feet and wouldn’t go onto the glass part. I can imagine that would be very confusing, and I don’t blame him!

 

After the Tower, we walked across town to Loopy Yarns. I always get souvenir sock yarn, and there was a shop in the city that was easy to find. As we walked across town, we passed a triangle building in the middle of the city that is a prison.

It was interesting to see the city change as we walked through nicer parts and not so nice parts. We made it to Loopy (after a brief walk down some back alley), and it is a great store! They had a big selection, and even some sale yarn. The best part is that they offered a teacher discount! I bought some Dream in Color Starry (it’s purple and sparkly), and my cousin, who doesn’t knit, bought some Malabrigo for a scarf! She went right for the good stuff, and I was very pleased with my enabling ability. :) I would definitely recommend Loopy to anyone visiting Chicago. The prices were a little high on some things, but I don’t think it was a big problem for a one time trip.

After Loopy we headed to the river to take an architectural boat tour. Since I was only in town a few days, I had to pick some things over others. I chose not to go to any museums or the aquarium, partly because of cost and partly because of the time factor. As interesting as those thing probably are, I’d rather spend my time seeing the city itself than seeing museum stuff. We stopped at Jamba Juice for a snack, and it was delicious. Jamba Juice was right across from Millennium Park, so we went over there for a bit. We took pictures of the bean, and photos of ourselves taking photos of the bean.

We made it to the river right on time, and boarded for the architectural tour. We went with a company called Wendella, because it offered an hour and a half tour that included the river and the lake. The Chicago School of Architecture also offers a tour in the summer, and I think it would be really cool to have an architecture student talking about all the buildings. I’m sure all of the tours were good, but I think it’s really important to go out on the lake to see the whole skyline.

We started off right by Trump Tower, which was ginormous.

 

We rode around the river for a bit, and saw lots of different types of buildings. A few of them really stuck out. The first was an office building that did some type of inset on the corners, so there are 16 corner offices per floor instead of 4. Very clever, and they can probably raise the rent because of it.

There were some circular parking structures,

and a school building with windows on only one side (something with one of the colleges). Our guide told us that people gave the architect a hard time about having so few windows, and he responded by saying, “The students should be studying, not looking out windows!” Considering I covered up the window in my classroom for the exact same reason, I absolutely agree. :)

I also seemed to have a fascination with the Chicago Sun Times building, because I took a lot of photos of it.

We passed by Navy Pier,

and then headed out to the lake. We had to sit in a holding spot for a bit, because the water level of Lake Michigan is two feet higher than the water level in the river.

I really liked this lighthouse, and the city used to have a deal where you could live there for $1 a month as long as you kept it functioning. This went on until alcohol got involved, and people were caught standing on the rocks without clothes. That ended that situation.

The city was beautiful, and huge. The light was starting to come through the clouds, and was really nice. It showed up a little on the photos, which I was happy about.

 

After the tour we headed back towards the trains to go home (it was around 6:30pm at this point). While we were walking, we picked a street to turn down. I started smelling this amazing smell, and a few stores later we saw Garrett’s popcorn. Oh. My. Goodness. It was absolutely delicious! We got some of the caramel corn, and it was buttery and caramely and yummy. The small bag also weighed way more than I expected, and was about 2 quart-sized ziploc bags worth of popcorn (I had enough to share with my Boston friends).

We got back through the train station, and stopped to pick up some Chicago style pizza. I don’t think I’ve had this type of pizza before, and it was really good. It was also really heavy.

At this point we were all about to fall asleep. Dustin went to play video games, and Becca and I stayed up talking until 1am. Becca and I pretty much grew up together until middle school, when she moved to Arkansas. We’ve only seen each other a handful of times since then (3, actually), so it was nice to talk and catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

Posted by: julieanne | March 8, 2010

Zamboni Madness

Yesterday was the Sticks n Stitch event with the Nashville Predators. My friend Cassie bought me a ticket for my birthday, and it was lots of fun. As a special event, they offered a drawing for a ride on the zamboni for anyone that donated 3 hand-knit hats. Here are my hats, with my somewhat reluctant models.

Ready for hockey!

Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Red Heart Collage, one pink and one blue/gray
Modifications: The first two hats were knit to pattern, but on the third I forgot to do the increases and to go up a needle size. Oops. I’m sure it’ll fit someone though.

So I turned in my hats, filled out my entry form, and found a seat in the back with Cassie. I was far enough away that I couldn’t really hear what was being announced, but I heard my name. I asked what I had won, and I found out that I’d won a ride on the zamboni! I had to sign a waiver, I guess just in case I fell off. I was a little nervous, because of all the people that would be there. Then I realized that most people would be doing the whole bathroom/snacks thing, and the rest probably wouldn’t be paying attention anyway. With 10 minutes left in the 2nd period, I headed down to take my seat.

The zamboni is really tall, to the point that I wasn’t sure I could get on it without a step. The first step was about waist level (well, my waist level), and I could only hold on to one side. I figured it out though, and climbed on up.

On the Zamboni!

Sorry for the blurry or weird colors. The lighting was really off down there. I was riding the black zamboni, and it looks like this when it’s in the storage shed.

Top of the Zamboni

There were lots of “danger” and “do not touch” signs. I buckled my seatbelt, didn’t touch anything, and was ready to go!

Ready to go on the ice

We drove to the tunnel, and had to wait while a fancy car drove around. Then it was time to go!

Fixing the ice

We drove around on the ice for awhile, and I waved at people. It was a bit disorienting, but I found the knitting section waving at me. :) It actually took longer than I thought it would. Here we are getting ready to go down the last strip.

Last strip!

After we got off the ice, Scooter (the driver) started hitting the breaks to make it bounce like one of those lowriders. It was pretty fun. :)

The zamboni picks up lots of “snow” as it scrapes the ice. Once it gets back to the parking area, they just dump it all out.

The "snow" picked up from the ice

Once I got finished I took a photo of the back…

Back of the zamboni

…and then I got a picture with Scooter.

With Scooter, the driver

I didn’t get to knit on the zamboni (I didn’t think I could wave, knit, and not fall off), but I was wearing a handknit sweater and socks. That should count, right? :) It was a great game, even though we ended up losing and I didn’t get any knitting done (it was dark, I was using navy blue, and I wanted to watch the game). I hope to have more knitting events in the future!

Posted by: julieanne | December 31, 2009

2009: A Year in Review

The Good
-Buying a house
-Taking advantage of the 8k first time homeowner’s credit
-Being rehired at my current job
-Getting an offer on my Grandpa’s house 2 days after it was put on the market
-Getting my black belt
-Getting Lacey
-Family reunion in Gatlinburg
-Fixing up my kitchen and closets
-Aja’s wedding
-Spending fall break in Nebraska with Grandmommie
-Seeing all my cousins (on my dad’s side) for the first time in years
-Having a good friend that lives 5 minutes away
-3 healthy babies born to family and close friends

The Bad
-The only bad thing I can think of is that Grandmommie died in November of this year. There were so many good things that surround that situation though…she hadn’t been sick, I got to spend time with her a few weeks before, and I got to see all my cousins at the funeral.

I guess when I lay it out this way, 2009 was more of an up year for me. I still cannot believe how quickly the years are going. I tell my kids that it’s true that they go faster when they get older, even though I never believed that when I was younger.

I have two main “resolution” type plans for next year. The first is exercise more. I’ve been running recently, but it’s so hard for me to stay with it consistently. Hopefully this will change once I get back to school. I’m doing a 5k tomorrow, and the goal is to complete it and do the best I can. I have plans set to do another one in April, with hopes that I can run significantly more than I can now.
The second is to appreciate and trust “the process.” I tend to be one that wants to jump to the end of things quickly, and will focus more on the end result than on how I got there. I’ve realized that, unfortunately, I appreciate things more if they’re more difficult (such as taking forever to get my black belt). Instead of being frustrated that things aren’t going as quickly as I’d like, I want to remember that the means is just as important as the end.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2010 is a great year!

(Note: This post was written on Dec. 31, but I never got around to publishing it. It’s been backdated.)

Posted by: julieanne | December 31, 2009

Knitting Update

Even though I haven’t been updating, I *have* been knitting. I had two SuperSecret projects that were made for Sula‘s sweet baby girl. Sula is a knitter herself, and said that she liked both the Baby Surprise Jacket and the February Baby Sweater. So, I decided to make both! The first was the ever popular Baby Surprise Jacket. Elizabeth Zimmermann is obviously way smarter than I am…I still have no idea how this blob of knitting ended up being a cute baby sweater. I used a DK weight yarn, and it ended up being really small. It fit Baby A when she was 2-3 weeks old, and has since outgrown it. I’m glad that she got to wear it, and now she’ll have a little sweater that shows how little she was!

P1000884

Started: July 17, 2009
Finished: August 24, 2009 (Extended finishing time due to button procrastination)
Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet DK, “60″ Colorway
Mods: Instead of doing the buttonholes, I decided to use ribbon as the closures. This way the top could be buttoned, but the bottom could stay open. I was hoping this would allow the sweater to be worn longer. Plus, I really like how the ribbon looks. I saw someone do this on Ravelry, and thought it seemed like a great idea.

P1000887

The next thing on my list was the February Baby Sweater. I really love how this turned out, and Baby A looked *so* cute wearing it! If I remember correctly, she was able to wear this at Thanksgiving (around 6 weeks old) and has worn it since then. I didn’t have a baby around to check sizes, so it’s nice to know that they both fit for awhile, as well as give me some info about how the sizing works with my gauge.

P1000879

Started: July 21
Finished: August 31
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in a Burnt Orange (not sure the number)
Mods: Buttons and ribbon mod as mentioned in the Baby Surprise Jacket.

P1000888

The next on my list of baby knitting was a blanket for my cousin’s daughter. She saw me knitting at a family reunion in June, and requested a baby blanket for when baby N came home from the hospital. We discussed it a bit, and settled on the Tweed Baby Blanket by Jared Flood. The pattern was really well written, and I really enjoyed knitting this blanket.

IMG_0295
Started: Not sure…September?
Completed: November 4, 2009
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Superwash in White
Mods: None

I also really loved the Swish Superwash. It blocked out nicely, and was very soft. Perfect baby yarn! I will definitely use both this pattern and the yarn again.

Since then, I’ve been working on a pair of socks or two and another sweater. I got bitten by the sweater bug in November, and that’s been my main focus since then. Hopefully that will be my first finished object of 2010!

Posted by: julieanne | October 18, 2009

Sweet April

On September 12 (hey, I’m only behind a little over a month on this one) I became a 3 dog household. April-dog has been in my family since I was 11 (I believe), and she’s obviously getting pretty old. My parents’ other dog started attacking April every time they were together, so we had to figure something out. I offered to take April, because it seemed to be the best option. She could hang out in my yard, and I figured that she wouldn’t feel threatened by the little dogs.

Since the move, she seems to be doing really well. The little dogs pretty much ignore her, and she doesn’t seem too concerned by them either. It think it’s working well for all of us. :)

Here’s a video from the first day they were all together. April tried to chase Lacey for about 3 steps, which was pretty good for her.

 

Posted by: julieanne | October 14, 2009

Aja got married (two months ago)!

(Yeah, so I’m behind. I’m on vacation in Nebraska, so I’m hoping to post a few various updates while I’m here.)

I could probably make this post extremely long, but I’ve decided to try to hit the highlights…and even then, it still might be really long.

1. This is the first wedding where everything was done before the night before. There was no midnight flower arranging, or program folding, or anything. I got there a day early to help, and everything was done! I was very impressed.

2. Friday was the big “Getting Ready for the Wedding” day. We walked to Starbucks for breakfast, complete with bling.

We continued on to the nail salon, where everyone in the wedding party (as well as any moms that were around) got their fingers and toes done. We also talked to the Mary Kay lady about our makeup for the next day. This whole process took way longer than I expected. We had a little bit of time before rehearsal dinner, so Rachel (my cousin), my aunt, and I ran over to Nordstrom.

3. The rehearsal itself went well, and there was lots of spontaneous picture taking.

I would like to thank the lady at Dress Barn for picking out my dress. It was one of those situations where she said, “Oh, I know something on the sale rack in your size! Try it on!” It was something like 80% off, which is always nice.

4. Our transportation to the dinner site? Limos. There was lots of dancing going on in this particular limo.

5. We ate at Maggiano’s, which was *amazing.* We made Kareem take a picture with us.

I wore my shawl, too! Here’s an action shot.

6. Saturday was wedding day! We spent the day getting hair and makeup done, and taking lots of photos. We also found time to look for Dave Mathews, who was staying at the Conrad that weekend. I invited his bodyguard to the wedding, but they didn’t show up. S-dogg (one of the photographers) became our paparazzi, and followed us around during this process. I’ll talk more about the photographers later.

7. Finally, it was time for the ceremony. My uncle walked Aja down the aisle.

Their ceremony was really nice, and it was really neat seeing the way they blended cultures and faiths during the ceremony.

8. After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour while Aja and Kareem signed the marriage certificate. This is traditional in Egyptian culture. As the maid of honor, I got to see this ceremony, but didn’t take any pictures. As Aja was signing the certificate, she was required to cover her shoulders. The cool part? Aja asked to use my shawl during this part of the ceremony. :)

9. At the reception, we were served a 5 course meal. The meal ended with chocolate and vanilla wedding cake, and a white chocolate dipped strawberry dusted in gold.

10. At some point, I gave a toast. I’m not a fan of large groups of people, so I was a bit nervous. Mine was funny, while the best man’s was more serious, so I think it was a good balance. Note the iphone that I’m using for my notes. :)

11. The coolest part about the wedding was the belly dancer. At the beginning of the reception, she led Kareem and Aja around the room while Kareem’s mother threw coins at them. After they got to the front of the room, she did a short dance and left. After we ate, she came back for a longer dance. Partway through, Kareem’s best man (who is also Egyptian) got up and started dropping one dollar bills on her as she danced. I don’t think any of the guests expected this part, but it was really entertaining. The other groomsmen did this as well. You can see the bills scattered on the floor in this picture, as well as some falling through the air.

12. The night ended with lots of dancing. One of my favorite parts of the night was when the DJ played “Walk Like an Egyptian.” (Aja said it was on their “must play” list.) I ran over to Kareem and said, “Kareem, you’re so good at this!” He looked at me all confused and said, “What? I’m just walking.” (he said this as he was doing the stereotypical Egyptian hands that everyone does when they hear that song) We danced until about midnight, and I really didn’t want the night to end. Here’s one of the photos that the photographers took close to the end of the night.

The photographers (Captured Art Photography) were absolutely amazing. The three of them stayed all day (over 12 hours) and took so many amazing photos. I’ve been in weddings before where you did the typical group shots, a few by yourself, etc. These guys? I felt like I was all of a sudden thrown into an episode of Next Top Model or something. I was sitting on staircases (with people around!), climbing into windows and boxes, and doing all sorts of crazy stuff that I had not expected. I hope to get copies of some of the photos, because they are fabulous. I won the award as the “least photogenic bridesmaid,” (and I’m also really critical of my photos) but they managed to get some of me that I absolutely love. They were great fun, and I really enjoyed spending the day with them.

All in all, it was a great night, and the most fun that I’ve ever had at a wedding. I love Aja and Kareem, and was so glad that I was a part of their wedding.

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