Wedding Bells Are Ringing

Karen was hired to take wedding photos for a young couple. I went as her assistant. The day started out cold but no wind**. By the time the wedding was over the wind was blowing hard***. We got some pretty good shots. I hope they are pleased with the results. I saw six brides today, and I understand that there were more before we got there.

The snow was crazy again today. It is days like this that make me wonder why Al Gore invented global warming, and why doesn’t it seem to work? It was anything but warm today.

Three of today’s brides.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

**So it was relatively nice.

***That was not so nice.

Say Cheese

Snow is still around, good for pictures! Though I still do not like to be cold.

I offered to take some pictures for Jason, Jessie, and Aiden playing in the snow, but Aiden is the only one crazy** enough to play in it. So this morning I got some cute shots of her.

This afternoon Rick and Ginny came over and I got lots of pictures of them in the snow. I hope there is at least one that they like enough to use. Rick was so cold and tired of having snowballs thrown at him, so we were unable to get a good one of a snowball in the air. I am sure I could photoshop one in there. Directly against Skyler’s orders I got some kissing pictures. He told them that they are not allowed to kiss anymore until they are married. He he he.

This evening I babysat for other friends, and while I was there the doorbell rang. All three kids*** ran to the door. I opened the door and there he was. In his red suit and white hair, it was Santa Clause. He looked a little concerned and asked if it was the Smith**** house. I said it is and he looked relived. He asked the kids if I was the babysitter and they shouted “yes.” He asked it they had been good, again the chorus of “yes.” And he said then he brought them a plate of cookies/goodies. He “Ho! Ho! Ho!” ‘d and hopped in his old white car and drove away. Then the 6 yr old girl asked if that was the real Santa? I not knowing quite what the parents’ take on the issue is, asked her what she thinks. She said she thinks it is the real Santa, and the 4 yr old boy said he thinks it isn’t, so I asked why he thinks that. He said, “Because he wasn’t wearing red and white striped boots.” I said he was wearing a red suit with white trim, and the girl said he was “wearing black boots, and that is what Santa wears.” He seemed satisfied with that. Then when I put them to bed the older two made me promise to “tell mom and dad that the real Santa was here.” I obliged.*****

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

**By crazy I mean young enough to not know it is a crazy idea

***2,4 & 6 I think

****Insert family surname here

*****The 2 year old, he just wanted candy from the plate, he didn’t seem to care who brought it.

Pretty Snow

Early this morning I got up and went to the high school to help unload and sort the band fruit sales. I did this because I was asked, not because anyone sold us fruit. Because no one did sell us fruit. It appears that the band students always forget to ask the teachers to buy any.

This year I have decided to make many of the presents we are giving away for Christmas. I think this is a good idea. I have some special plans in place. So we went and got many of the supplies.

Also, I will be taking Rick and Ginny’s announcement photos, and because we don’t know what weather will be like on the day they come, I went around town looking for some pretty shots to use as backgrounds if we need them. I hope we don’t. Even though I can do some really cool photoshopping, the less of it to do, the better.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

Crazy Snow

I went with my friend, Gayle to Peoria.  We had a fun trip.  She got her ears pierced and I bought a pair of earrings that I have been looking for for a long time.  I also got monkey earrings!  It snowed while we were there.  There hadn’t been snow on the ground when we arrived, but there was bad snow when we left.**

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

**Rick was in Kewaunee-giving Ginny her ring-so we got word to him to not try driving tonight.

Allez Cuisine!

Here’s another first: On Saturday, we did our first real paid catering gig (along with my mother and my uncle Kevin – my mother was the head chef). Marcia has worked as a professional chef before (at the Bed&Breakfast she used to manage), but this was my first time in the professional arena. It was the first time doing catering on someone else’s site for both of us. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too.

Marcia, Karen, and Jacob

The event was a wedding reception with about 150 guests, with an Italian food/decor theme. The menu was a mix of traditional Italian and non-traditional Italian-inspired food. The entrees were Grilled Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (traditional), and Inside-Out Ravioli (a non-traditional but very delicious creation of my mother’s). We also did a fruit salad, a chef’s salad, some REALLY good breadsticks, a cheese tray, and a few other tasty morsels. We did not do the wedding cake, though we did provide a chocolate fountain which was a real BLAST, as you will soon see…

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

But let’s start with the strawberries – In talking with the mother of the bride, it became apparent that the bride’s favorite treat is chocolate-dipped strawberries. It was decided that we would provide a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries for the bride and groom to enjoy. At first, we were just going to do some simple traditional dips, but then my mother got a crazy idea – and when she gets those ideas, there’s no stopping her. She wanted to use white and dark chocolate (dark in color, not in flavor) to make half of the strawberries look like tuxedos, and then use white to make the other half like like wedding dresses. It took a little bit of [very tasty] experimentation, but when she figured out how to do it, the results were great:

The world's coolest chocolate-dipped strawberries
We offered a few of them to the pastry chef who did the cake to put them on or around the cake if he wanted, and he loved the idea. The rest went on a plate for the bride and groom to share. We also made some more plain dipped strawberries for the rest of the head table to enjoy.

Cake Flower

The pastry chef (who was a friend of the bride’s family and also a wedding guest) had his daughter with him. She was probably 6 or 7 years old. While he was putting the strawberries we gave him on the cake, I was talking to the little girl, who said “my daddy made the cake.”

“It’s pretty,” I responded, “and you can eat everything on it!”

“Not the flowers,” she said.

I went into teacher mode. “I bet you can.”


“What kind of flowers are they? Are they carnations?”


“Then you can eat them. What do you think they taste like?”

She half-shrugged, half rolled her eyes at the idiot who thinks you can eat flowers.

“They taste like pepper.”

She’d had enough. I was clearly insane. She laughed at me, said “Nuh-uh!” and scampered off.

Later, I was lucky enough to serve her her food. I asked if she wanted salt, pepper, or flowers on her pasta. Again, the “for a grown up, you’re really stupid” look.

For the record, you CAN eat carnations, and they DO taste like pepper. Just be careful when you buy them that you get ones grown without any pesticides, because pesticide not only tastes nasty, it’s not very good for you.

Chocolate Fountain of Death

About halfway through dinner, we were all serving or preparing more food, when someone came in, grabbed Kevin, and said “the chocolate fountain is exploding!” We thought that perhaps it had spilled a little, or maybe overheated and ruined the chocolate (it does happen on occasion).

No. This was pretty literal.

A piece of food had fallen into the bottom of the fountain, and worked its way into the auger that moves the chocolate from the bottom to the top. It got stuck inside the auger tube and began acting as a lifting shelf for the auger, so the auger started climbing up the tube – like it was unscrewing itself from the fountain. Once the auger got above the top of the tube, it started flinging chocolate about. To make matters worse, a few moments after that, the whole fountain started to spin about because the movement of the auger had thrown the balance off. Then the rotation caused various pieces to come apart, and very soon the whole thing had come apart, flinging chocolate all over 4 bowls of strawberries, pretzels, and cookies, a white tablecloth, and a surprised little boy.

The fastest way to clean up the mess was simply to clean the fountain, swap the tablecloth for a fresh one (luckily, no chocolate got on the floor or walls), and get things moving again quickly. Kevin put the soiled tablecloth in a freezer so it could be easily cleaned later (you can peel the cold chocolate off of the cloth and have a pretty good chance of saving the tablecloth). After things calmed down and dinner was done, we took a moment to take some pictures of the tablecloth (this is after being frozen):

Kevin and Jacob with the chocolate covered tablecloth
I wish we had gotten some pictures of the little boy who was equally chocolate covered, but he got cleaned up too quickly. Thankfully, the bride and groom and all the guests thought the whole incident was quite funny, and nobody was upset at this minor disaster. I think it’s the only thing that went wrong the whole day (which means my knife skills have improved!).

The Aftermath

In the end, we received many compliments from the guests, and the bridal party (especially the mother of the bride, who hired us) was very pleased. We were happy with a job well done, and a buffet table well-eaten:

The buffet table after the wedding
A number of people asked us if we had a catering company, or if we were available for hire. The four of us have threatened to start a catering business before, but have not actually done so. Perhaps with a little more experience, we would feel comfortable doing that. Only time will tell.

So Close-ish

This is a Picture of the sky we saw as we left Sam’s wedding (Jacob’s cousin), also the same day we took Erin to the airport for schooling.  We, meaning Richard and Karen and I, Jacob had a band thing to attend.

Here is a picture from the wedding.  It was a Civil War Wedding, and it was pretty cool!  Her dress was fabulous.

Our Belated Honeymoon Notable Pictures

<-- This is a really cool shot I took standing at the base of the St. Louis Arch. Then I turned the lens straight across to the other base for this shot.–>
That was our first night.

The next day we went to Union Station to watch the Fudgery Show. Amazingly we escaped the mall with little money spent, we did buy a really cool tie for Jacob.

Day three we went to the Science Center and unfortunately for us, most of the cool things were closed for repairs/remodeling. However there was a cool room that made Jacob look really small and myself really tall.

On day four we went to the zoo. No entrance fee, and we got there early enought to get free parking!!! We stayed till closing time and loved the 78 degree November day. I have already posted the funny video from the Ape House, but right before the woman said that, she and her 3 friends had just walked into the room.
<-- This silverback saw them and as soon as they stepped close to the glass, he lunged at them and stopped just short of hitting the window. They screamed and we all had a great laugh. The best part of it was the look he gave them.
We were walking and enjoying the animals and for a short time it was cool to think about Erin in Africa and how she got to see a giraffe up close when we have to stay so far from the animals. I think this is a really pretty creature.

Fifth day we went to the City Museum. In theory it is pretty cool, in reality too. Except for the fact that I am grossed out by dirty things…. It is a maze made of recyled objects, some is art-like and others just play equipment. I am sure that they clean it well, but because I know it is old “trash” it kind of creeps me out. That evening we saw Spam-A-Lot. That was a really cool show. Thanks DC for reccommending it.

We decided to extend our stay one more night and had a relaxing trip home on day six.

Our honeymoon video – NOT THAT KIND!

Our big “secret honeymoon” was to Bardolph, Illinois St. Louis, Missouri. We had a Great time and got to see lots. The Highlight of the trip was our visit to the zoo. We were able to watch the feedings of the sea lions and the penguins. However the most remarkable part was what we heard in the ape house. Listen to the video for what is said six seconds in.

Jacob says “You’ll never hear THAT on the Discovery Channel!”

Happy am I

I never really resolved for anyone else that my car runs well now. Thanks to my now husband was fiance. In the end the last thing fixed was a leak in the gas tank. Oddly enough after all the work I had done on it I believe I am getting worse gas mileage. Perhaps some failures under the hood make the engine run better, though I really have no desire to run out and brake anything.

Now I am done with the B&B. I miss all the new people, but at the same time it is great to be in the same town as my love. Less than a week back and I was asked to fill in at the university daycare for a week and a half. It was great, I love children. And it is often better when you can give them back at the end of the day. The next week was all wedding all day.

The wedding went very well with out anything too big to handle. There was one hitch with the boquet. I am not a big spender, especially on one-time-use things… And I spent a lot on that, only to have it look like a twelve-year-old boy could have thrown it together in a vase. Thank goodness for a wonderful mother-in-law, who is extremely talented, and took the flowers apart and added to it to make it what it is (can be seen in the photo in the last post).

Today I had an interview at the local university. My job starts tomorrow. The people I will work with seem friendly and I like the job discription.

I am now a married woman. I now have a full-time job. I am healthy.

I am happy!