Monday, March 31, 2008

Lynnette's Wedding and the Motor City (part 1)

This week end, I was able to spend wonderful time with old college friends and witness one of my best friend's weddings. Justin and I opted to drive from Birmingham to Detroit, Michigan so we could bring our children (Rez and Adler... the pups). Justin was born in the Detroit area, and moved in the 2nd grade but still has a lot of family there. His Aunt Patty and Uncle Bob have a good friend who lives and works in China, but keeps his home in Michigan, and he was so gracious to allow us to stay there. We started our trip on Wednesday evening after work, and had planned to stay in Elizabethtown, KY, but all the hotels were booked for a truck show, so we only made it to Nashville before calling it quits for the night. We got up EARLY the next morning (4:30 to be exact), and were on the road quickly. We made it to Michigan in time to shower and meet our cousin Melodie for dinner.
Melodie took us to a great restaurant called the Box Bar & Grill in the quaint downtown area of Plymouth, MI. We met early because I had to be in Grosse Pointe for shower for Lynnette later that evening. As we were eating, it began to snow outside.
By the time we left, the snow was already sticking. The weather experts were predicting between 4 and 10 inches, so we were excited to see what the night held in store!

It took us much longer than we thought to make the trip from Plymouth to Grosse Pointe. In fact, we did a lot more driving than we ever thought we would. We were staying near Canton or maybe it was Westland. The wedding festivities were in Grosse Pointe and Rochester. Distance from Canton to Rochester? 47 miles. Had we known this prior to our trip, we probably would have made other lodging arrangements, but the house was so nice, it was tough to even think of staying elsewhere.

Some of Lynnette's friends in Michigan hosted a Spa Party at a precious spa in Grosse Pointe. There were lots of girls there, and we all had the best time. I was late to the party (see above paragraph), but was there in plenty of time to enjoy paraffin wax, chocolate covered strawberries, and the opening of gifts.
Lynnette opened a variety of great gifts from comfy, fun stuff to wear during their St. Lucia honeymoon... a sentimental charm bracelet from her mother.
And then there was this gift. If I told you what was just beyond the wrapping paper, I'd have to kill you, so I will let that remain nameless. But let's just say the lady who bought it hoped she didn't run into one of the elders of her church while she was walking through the mall. THIS gift, however, was a hit. We all secretly wished we had received one at our own lingerie showers. ;-)

At this point, it wouldn't be right to continue without a huge thanks to my husband. As I mentioned before, we were staying surprisingly far away from most of the wedding festivities. Justin dropped me off at the Spa around 8:00. As far as we knew, there were no guys getting together while the girls were at the spa, so he decided to go back and come pick me up when the party was over. When I called him around 9:30 to tell him to be there by 10:00, he had been "home" for 7 minutes. The weather had gotten so bad that he was driving around 45mph on the interstates! So, thank you, Justin, for being my personal driver throughout the whole week end. He picked me up around 10:15 and we headed "home." The driving conditions were still trecherous because the salt trucks hadn't quite made it to streets. The cars on the interstates kept the roads fairly clear, but once we got off the interstate, we were driving on snow.

So much snow, in fact, that we paused to take a picture. This was our (Justin's) first real experience driving on snow-covered roads. It was pretty crazy. We stopped by a park on the way back to let the dogs run around, and then crashed at the house.
This is what we woke up to the following morning! God blanketed the ground with about 5 inches of snow! Unfortunately, Justin nor I really brought good clothes to play in the snow, nor did we really have time to take it all in because we were meeting Justin's cousin Sharon and her daughter Zoe for lunch. Unfortunately, Sharon's twins Izzy and Alli couldn't join us because they were in pre-school. Zoe was out of school on Spring Break, so it was fun to get to visit with her! We forgot to take pictures of Sharon and Zoe, but our lunch was great.
We stopped at a church on the way to the Rehearsal, and Justin made this little snowman. The mouth fell off and wouldn't stay, so the snowman is now smoking a cigar. :-) The hotel in Rochester where the wedding was held was magnificent. It was just off the main street, and was bordered on one side by a bubbling creek.
Lynnette was a wonderful bride lining us all up according to well, I think it was approximately the length of time she had known us... or something like that.
Dan's parents hosted a wonderfully patriotic rehearsal dinner for us at Kruse and Muer complete with Bill Clinton memoribilia and Arkansas barbecue sauce! Dan's mom used to be the mayor of their town, and she and Bill Clinton were close... no, not in that way. Hehe! For the record, she told me herself that she would not be voting for Hilary during the '08 election. I think I actually let out a sigh of relief!

After the dinner, the girls headed back to the hotel to hang out with Lynnette on the eve of her wedding day! Three of us stayed with her, and we stayed up talking until almost 2am. It was so much fun to be with old friends, and meet new ones!

The actual wedding day photos are forthcoming in Part 2 of "Lynnette's Wedding and The Motor City."


Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Redeemer and The Rabbit

...the history and meaning of Easter.

The tradition of Easter began when the earliest missionaries began sharing Jesus with the Teutonic tribes of Europe. During the Spring equinox every year, the pagans would worship the pagan Saxon goddess Eostre, the goddess of Spring - the same time of year early Christians celebrated the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Attempting to convert the Teutonic (or Germanic) tribes, the missionaries adopted the celebration as their own. The new converts could keep many of their traditions, but the meaning and purpose of the celebration was changed.

What Easter would be complete without the Bunny and the eggs? These traditions are derived from our "pagan friends." Our Easter Bunny was inspired by the goddess Eostre, whose symbol is a rabbit or hare. Exchanging eggs was a Teutonic tradition symbolizing rebirth and renewal.

To Christians, Easter is worth more than bunnies, baskets and eggs. To Christians, Easter is the celebration and recognition of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him and obey his Word.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Deadly Blow

Every now and then, I'll hear a bizarre news story that gets my attention so much that I feel the urge to share. Such is the case with the recent death of a woman who was boating in the Florida Keys. How did she die, you ask?

Would you believe me if I told you that while a family (two adult sisters and their father) was riding on their boat on the Atlantic side of one of the Florida Keys, a 75-lb sting ray leaped out of the water, smacked one of the women in the face, and killed her? Well, my friends, it's sad but TRUE!

Here is a photo of the deadly beast (notice the woman's visor on top).

In all fairness to the stingray, they are not usually aggressive creatures. They jump out of the water only to shake off parasites, give birth, or to ward off a predator. It was the impact that killed both woman and stingray in this incident, not a sting by the ray's barb which is only used as a self-defense mechanism. What an unfortunate fluke accident.

Anyway, just felt like sharing. Click here if you would like to read the complete story.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Family Blogging

My mom started a blog! She enjoys reading all my friends' blogs, and now she has a place on the web of her own! Please stop by and welcome her to the blogging world! :-)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blog Makeover

A huge thanks to Shauna Callaghan, to whom I can wholeheartedly attribute my beautiful blog makeover. She worked hard trying to please a very difficult client, but I think the end result turned out great. We all know my blog was in desparate need of some personality! :-) Click on her name to see other work that she has done, and maybe you can commission her to pimp your blog, too!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Block Party

I know I've sort of gone on and on about how energetic my neighborhood is. Saturday afternoon, the O'Hare's, who live around the corner from us, hosted a big St. Patrick's Day Block Party. Growing up, St. Patrick's Day was really just another day. I mean, really, I didn't even own anything green to wear (green just isn't my best color), and I didn't (and still don't) understand the meaning of the holiday. I suppose it goes without saying that the O'Hare's are Irish... and apparently very proud of their Irish roots. This party was WAY more "authentic" than anything Justin and I had ever attended. There were 2 sets of Irish dancers (I missed the first group because I got there a little late... work), a bagpiper and a fiddle player. There was always some kind of entertainment going on. There was face painting for the kids and food and drinks for the adults. Unfortunately, we have no pictures because I couldn't find my camera, and didn't want to spend time looking for it because I was already over an hour late for the party. We stayed until about 7:00 when things were just beginning to wrap up, and came back to our house and watched a movie with Matt and Amy. I love our neighborhood!