Monday, March 31, 2008

20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - Part One

Keith and I have many blessings in our lives, one being our marriage of 20 years. We felt a strong desire to celebrate this 20th wedding anniversary with our families and friends. In addition to having a party (I will write more about that in a later post) we had a very intimate "anniversary blessing" ceremony that preceded our party. Our parents, and a handful of our dear friends attended the ceremony that was officiated by our minister. For us it seemed like the right time to rejoice in our marriage and to celebrate our commitment to each other over all the changes that the last 20 years have brought into our lives. Sharing this blessing with our friends, family and minister honored our marriage in a very special and meaningful way.

The ceremony took place outside, on the deck of our friend's beautiful home in Bittersweet Woods. On this cool spring evening, we were not only surrounded by friends and family, but also by the beauty of magnificent budding trees and flowers.

Our ceremony was beautifully written by our minister and it reflected what is dear and important to us. The ceremony included a family blessing, a Wendell Berry poem, and blessings written and read by Amy and Stephanie. Mac and Ethan also shared a beautiful gift of music - a piano and violin duet of Pachelbel Cannon in D.

Below I posted only a few excerpts from ceremony.

Family Blessing written by our minister:

Keith, Kim, Mac and Ethan,
May the home you’ve made together continue to be the kind
That helps to make this world more home-like.
May it be a place of virtue and honor
Of hospitality and peace
Where all who arrive in peace are welcome
Where both adults and children are nourished.

Above all, may each of you always find such fulfillment there,
That you never cease to reach out in love and concern for others
So that those who have cause to follow your lives
Will rejoice not only in your success and happiness
But in your brave and generous living.

As this anniversary blessing brings a new meaning to love,
So allow this love to enrich the meaning of your life.

Excerpt from The Country of Marriage, by Wendell Berry

Sometimes our life reminds me of a forest
in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.

The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Car Seat Cutie

Can't help but to post another adorable picture of Madelyn. She is 6 weeks old now but looks much more mature in this picture. My sister says that she smiles all the time now, which is clearly evident here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mac the Composer

This short video clip is a musical piece that was composed by Mac and his friend, Gabe. It is being preformed by a string quartet from the Indiana University Jacob's School of Music, during a school assembly. Enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Birthday Cupckes With a Touch of Spring

My friend ordered these cupcakes for a birthday celebration that includes three people whose birthdays are within a few days of each other. One being her birthday which also happens to be the first day of spring equinox. So with that in mind, I decided to make her cupcakes very spring-like with butterflies and flowers.

The funny thing is that every time I look at these pretty little cupcakes they remind me of a head of hair, an updo to be exact, with flowers, baby's breath, and butterflies pinned in the sides.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Look At This St. Patty's Day Sweetie!

Madelyn if five weeks old now and look how much she's grown! For and update on Madelyn click here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chandler House Tea Room

My tea-mates and I are always looking for an excuse to go to afternoon tea, and what better an excuse than Steph's birthday - The most exquisitely charming and classy tea lady that I know.

Chandler House Tea Room, which recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 20th to celebrate its grand opening, is located in Bedford, Indiana. The tea room is a historic Victorian era home that was built in 1870. It serves lunch and is open Monday through Saturday, 11am - 2pm.
Although the tea room doesn't serve traditional afternoon tea, it does have a nice lunch menu with items such a soup, sandwiches, salads and quiche. I was delighted with the dessert selections as they were very afternoon tea-like. The teas are quality loose leaf teas with over 20 varieties to choose from.
The inside of the tea room is beautiful. There are three separate rooms, each tastefully decorated with antiques and lots of pretty tea accouterments.

Steph and I shared a pot of tea that came in this pretty brown and white toile teapot. Amy ordered an artisan tea and it was served in a glass teapot. Notice the pretty flowering presentation. Artisan teas are hand-sewn rosettes of fine teas that delicately unfurl when steeped in hot water.
Also notice the pretty teacups. We were each served tea in a unique china cup and it was hard to decide which one was the prettiest.

The food was delicious and we were all happy with our choices. I ordered a vegetable quiche that was served with a salad. Notice the cute little cutout cheese hearts that are on the salad.
For dessert, we ordered a variety of "tea" desserts, scones, tartlets and petit fours. They were all fabulous. My favorite were the petit fours, moist cake dipped in chocolate. Yum!We all had a lovely afternoon and will definitely be back for another visit. The Chandler House Tea Room is worth a stop in Beford. The service was friendly, the atmosphere elegant and cozy, and the tea and food were served hot and tasted delicious.

Cupcake Stand

In preparation for our anniversary party at the end of the month, I made this cupcake stand. I've been wanting to make one for quite some time but haven't gotten around to it.

I used 14", 12", 10" and 8" cake boards. There are two boards for each tier that are held together with glue. In between the boards I used Styrofoam discs, the kind that you find in the floral department of your craft store. I covered the discs with a black satin fabric that is just pinned to the Styrofoam. Before assembling and gluing the boards and discs together, I glued paper to the tops of the boards. This back and white paper is leftover paper from our anniversary invitations. I also glued black satin ribbon around the edges of the boards. Once the boards and discs are covered with the paper and fabric you simply glue the boards to the discs and there you have it -- a cupcake stand.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A visit to Spring Mill State Park

Keith and I recently spent a couple of days at Spring Mill State Park in celebration of our anniversary. There are many things to do and see in the park and although many of the attractions weren't open, we still had a lovely time.

We stayed in the Inn which was very comfortable and cozy. (However, I cannot recommend eating at the lodge.) We spent some time hiking and exploring the woods. On our first day there we hiked down to Donaldson cave which was really cool. It was quite the trek because there was still a lot of snow and ice and we had to cross through the river to get to the cave's entrance. Thankfully I brought the right shoes. The water was flowing rapidly and there were icicles hanging above the entrance. We did not venture too far into the cave (even though we had a flashlight) as it was very slick and wet. Next time. We would love to revisit the park with the kids when the weather's warmer. We might even make it into a family bike ride.

Entrance to the cave. Notice the icicles hanging above.

Crossing the river, trying not to slip or get wet.

Keith at the cave's door.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Anniversary Bike Ride

What do you do to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary? Well if your married to my husband, you take a 50+ mile bike ride through the hilly (understatement) back roads of Indiana, on cool March day. How cool, you ask? Just take a look at our frozen bike seat and odometer.
We started our journey at 10 am this morning and the temp was about 30 degrees not including the windchill which made it seem about 10 degrees cooler. We only got about 2 miles into our ride when we stopped so that I could double glove. Thankfully the second pair of gloves helped and my fingers were able to thaw out and warm up.
It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get to our destination, the Williams covered bridge which is the longest, double-span bridge in Indiana. This picture is our first rest break, about 16 miles into our ride. The reason why it took 3 1/2 hours to ride 21 miles is because those 21 miles were extremely hilly with no relief - one hill after another.
This is an example of what those hills looked like. Looks fun, huh? NOT! I don't know what was worse climbing hill upon hill or being chased by one mean dog after another. That was pretty much the extent of our first 20 miles - hills and mean dogs - thank goodness for the doggy pepper spray. And go figure, we were never chased when we were going downhill, it was always on the uphill climb when we couldn't get away fast enough.

Williams Covered Bridge

We took this picture with the camera sitting on top of our bike rack.

Kim checking the map. How many more miles to we have to go?

What do you do when the only road back home is covered in water? You go through it of course. Thankfully we made it across this little road block without getting too wet. This was the only way out, there weren't any other detours that we could take without going back the way we came.
Just when we thought we were home free, another mile down the road it was flooded again And this time there was no going through it unless you were a big truck or wanted to get really wet. We watched several cars turn around and go back the way they came. How did we get across? We climbed up the hill, on foot, with the bike, through all kinds of branches and loose rocks. We crossed over the train tracks and back down through much of the same.

Don't be fooled. It looks easier than it was.

The last 30 miles of our trip was pretty uneventful compared to the first 20 miles. The temp warmed up a little and although it still wasn't warm enough to take off some of our layers, our muscles were able to warm up enough to pick up our speed. The last 2 miles of our journey seemed the longest to me and I didn't think my butt could take another second on that bike seat, but we made it back to Spring Mill (our starting point) 8 hours later, and just in time for dinner. All in all it was a very fun day and an experience that I'll never forget.

We made it! 51.9 miles and I'm still smiling!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Some More Fun Family Pics

Grandkids - Mac, Ethan, Olivia, Madelyn, & Owen Mac and Ethan

Olivia and Owen


Grandma & Grandpa

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Boys Meet Madelyn

Day at the Spa

The boys and I traveled to Arizona so that we could meet Madelyn and also so that they could stay with Grandma and Grandpa while Keith and I take a little anniversary trip.

On Friday, our first day there, my mother-in-law and I took a drive up to Flagstaff, about two hours from my parents house in Sun City, to visit my sister-in-law's day spa, Carrie's Day Salon. I enjoyed the drive up and back with my MIL; we had lots of good conversations. My MIL even let me drive her new Prius hybrid and the gas mileage was unbelievable. At one point we were getting 63 MPG. Wow!

Once there, Carrie completely spoiled us with massages, pedicures and hair treatments. It was a great day and the most relaxing day that I've had in a very long time. If you're ever in the Flagstaff area you won't regret a visit to Carrie's Day Salon. The people are friendly and the services divine!

L to R: Phyllis (mother-in-law), me(before new hairdo), Carrie (sister-in-law)

Pretty toes - to match my party dress!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Dishes!

My mom and dad wanted to buy us a new set of dishes for our anniversary. Incidentally, china is the traditional gift for the 20th wedding anniversary. These are not china but they are a very nice stoneware that I picked out from the Pfaltzgraff catalog. My mom has a set of Phaltzgraff dishes as well as each of my sisters so she thought it was time for me to have a set too. We have had our everyday dishes for twenty years, and no longer have a complete set so we decided that we would take my parents up on their offer.

It was very difficult deciding on pattern and I had to consult a few friends for their opinion. I thought I was going to pick something completely different until I went to the Pfaltzgraff outlet and saw the dishes in person. I ended up choosing my last choice instead of my first. This pattern, Sea Vista is very plain compared to the other flowery ones that I liked. However, I think it will be quite versatile and it's my favorite color, blue.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Shoe and Dress Shopping

Keith and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on March 12th. At the end of the month we are having a big party to celebrate with all of our friends. The most important things have been done, invitations have been sent, the menu planned, and the ceremony planned with our minister. The next thing left for me to do was to decide what to wear.

For the past month or so I have been eying a very pretty dress online at C.C. After doing some research, I learned that the dress is not available in the stores. And since I really wanted to try it on before purchasing it, I decided to broaden my options and look for something different. So I made the short drive out to the C. C. outlet store, not far from our house, hoping that they would have another dress that I liked equally as well. I was delightfully surprised when I arrived and saw the very dress that I had been eying online hanging in the store, there was only one and it was in my size! (I might add that the dress was $119, and I don’t normally spend that much money on myself or my clothes, ever. But I felt that it was worth it because it was a special occasion.) As I continued to browse the store I was told by the salesclerk that every dress, no matter what it said on the price tag, was on sale for $19.99. I couldn’t believe it! Not only was the dress that I wanted there and in my size, it was only $19.99! The dress fairy had worked her magic. I left the store with three dresses and had to stop myself from buying more.

On Friday my friend Helene and I went to M.'s because they were having an awesome shoe sale, 50% off their clearance prices. As much as I don’t like shopping, I did need to find a pair of shoes to match the new dress so I thought it was worth the time and effort. We had a great time. Even though, Helene was a little obsessive, trying to make me buy 20 pairs of shoes just because they were such a good deal! She even went as far as to buy a $6 pair of black heels for me, because I was too stubborn to buy more than what I needed. It was rather comical to say the least. I did find a pair that matches my dress perfectly (see picture). I decided to go out on a limb (and hopefully I won’t break a limb wearing them) and buy shoes with heels, something I NEVER wear. My philosophy is that when it comes to shoes, comfort always comes first. But again, this is a special occasion, so what the heck!