BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Easy Lasagna and Green Beans

I made a mighty tasty supper last night! I used Julie's simple lasagna recipe, which requires a few lasagna noodles, two pounds of ground beef, a can of spaghetti sauce, a tub of cottage cheese, and a bunch of shredded cheese.

First, I boiled 9 lasagna noodles and then drained them on paper towels. I like to get as much of the water off as possible to avoid making the lasagna runny. While the noodles were draining, I browned two pounds of ground beef in a big skillet. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I added a few onions and a little seasoned salt. When the meat was done, I dumped a big can of spaghetti sauce over it and mixed it up. I assembled all of the ingredients to make everything easy to prepare.


I started with a layer of the meat/sauce mixture because I didn't want my first layer of noodles sticking to the pan. Then, I layered three noodles, more meat/sauce, some cottage cheese, and shredded cheese. I did that again, and that's what you see here. This is the middle of the assembly process:


And here's the finished product, all ready to cook:


I stuck it in the oven at 325* for 30 minutes and this is what I got:



In addition to the lasagna, I made some quick garlic bread and while the lasagna was cooking, I made Pioneer Woman's fresh green beans. Blondie's mother gave me a whole pile of them from her garden and they were quite tasty prepared this way.

This lasagna can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the fridge or frozen, and then cooked later. It's great for company!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wedding Plans

My recent activities have revolved around wedding planning activities. Blondie and I have about three and a half months until our wedding. That's not a lot of planning time! When we got engaged, we had a tough time deciding on a wedding date. Blondie is a teacher, so we have to plan around school breaks. He would have gladly gotten married over Labor Day weekend, but that was too soon for me! Christmas break was too far away for him, so we settled on fall break.

We have been working on our guest list, which has grown substantially since we decided on a "small wedding." We're so glad we have so many people supporting us that we didn't want to have to limit the number of people we could invite to the wedding.

We have done the preliminary planning of setting the date and making sure the church was available. We have invitations and have been working on the guest list. We have two pastors lined up for the ceremony and some friends are doing the music. I've chosen a dress for myself and the bridesmaids. We have an appointment with a photographer later this week. I bought all of the flowers last weekend and Blondie's aunt and his mother are putting them together. We're having the rehearsal dinner at my parents' house and Julie is baking the cake for the reception. Surely that can't be everything! What have I forgotten?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Favorite Ways to Burn my Mouth



Check SpellingTuna Patties: another thing near the top of the list of "My Favorite Ways to Burn my Mouth."

They are good as standalones, but made better by including fried potatoes and macaroni with tomato sauce. They are even good leftover. Even if you have to eat them for lunch for a whole week because your husband refuses to eat all things tuna.

Yum!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ribbit!



A few days ago I was outside feeding the kitty-babies and this guy came jumping out at me. He's ginormous! I had to take his photo. I really wanted to poke him with a stick, but getting close enough to take his photo was risky enough for me.

Most people who know me, know I have a very specific, very strange, list of things that frighten me. Frogs and toads are on this list. I don't know if there is a good reason for being afraid of toads, but the freak me out. Possibly because of they way they jump into my personal space bubble unexpectedly, and for no particular reason. I like to keep my personal space bubble fairly empty of strangers. Toads are strangers.

For most of our younger years we lived in a lovely house in town that was next to a creek. Apparently this creek was a wonderful breeding ground for little toads. These little toads invaded our yard in the summer. While Lisa was able to pick them up and play with them, the little buggers freaked me out. I had a fear that I might step on one barefoot and feel it squish and crunch under my foot. That was the main thing that scared me. Ugh! The thought still creeps me out.

Excuse me while I go wash my feet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memorable California

This is (finally) the follow-up to my vague vacation blog comment about Pirate's Cove being memorable.

We had just had a tasty picnic lunch on the beach and embarked on a (much) longer than anticipated hike. When we approached Pirate's Cove, we had to climb down a steep bank to reach the rocky part of the beach. We stopped on the rocks for a moment to take off our shoes before making our way out to the sandy part of the beach. Justin and Christina disappeared behind a giant boulder and Blondie called me over to where he was standing. He asked me to look into a small opening in the rocks and while I was looking away, he pulled out the ring and kneeled on the rocks. When he caught my attention again, he asked me to marry him.

Needles to say, I was pretty surprised!  And of course, I said yes.

He had nervously carried this ring around with him all day, and when he opened the box, it had come loose from the little nook where it had been placed. It almost fell out on the beach, but fortunately he grabbed it in time. Christina took several photos of us after he proposed. Here is one:

If I had known I was going to get engaged that day, I might have tried a little harder to look nice, but after a hike like that one, I doubt it would have done much good anyway!

Monday, June 21, 2010

...And the Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone who entered the CSN Stores giveaway this weekend!

(Drumroll, please)

The lucky winner is (selected by the random number generator at Random.org) comment #35, Kim!

Congratulations, Kim! I will contact you via email today just in case you miss this post and then you will get to choose what you're going to buy with your $50 gift certificate!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Herding Cats


I still have kitty babies! We are only missing one kitten out of the original ten. And that is because the gray stripey mama cat decided she had enough of taking care of kitty babies and she disappeared. Or it could have been the perils of living in the country, but I prefer to think she continued the vicious cycle of teen mother abandonment after she was abandoned by her own mother at an early age. It seems like a good story of thriving through adversity. The reason I prefer to think this because I resent it for causing me to spend extra time in the morning preparing kitty baby food, then standing in the kitty pen getting bitten by bugs.


But I make them stinky food because, well look at them! They are pretty much the cutest things you ever saw, with their pretty blue eyes and giant ears. This one is just begging for someone to take it to a home nicer than its current Dogloo. A place where wonderful people will give it hugs and clean the crustiness out of its ears.


This kitty wants a home where the dog isn't favored over the cats; where the dog gets in trouble for chasing it under a pickup. Possibly a place where the driveway isn't made of gravel so it won't be disgusting after being drooled on and dragged around by the spoiled dog who gets a kick out of herding cats.


Don't worry, the cats are just as spoiled as the dog. I bribed this one into loving me again by returning it to the little kitty sanctuary where they have soft (yet incredibly stinky) cat food and friends to play with. It's a good place where spoiled dogs can't get to them unless they are foolish enough to escape through the chain links. At that point it becomes fair game for Lucy's kitty herding habit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Headboards

When Julie and I were little, we shared a little bedroom. Our dad, being the handy daddy that he is, built cute little beds for us. He used plywood for the headboards and carved our names into the wood. The beds were small enough to use crib mattresses, so we still had space in our bedroom to play.

When we got a little older, we got to pick out a big bed to share. I remember really wanting a beautiful brass bed with a floral bedspread. That, however, did not happen. Instead, we got a wooden headboard and bed frame. This headboard had a little ledge where you could put things like your rotary phone or alarm clock, and we liked to scoot the mattress a little toward the foot of the bed to make a gap between the headboard and mattress. We would sit on the mattress with our legs hanging under the headboard and pretend it was a desk. There was also a mirror on this headboard, so there was lots of good pretending to be done there. This bed had magnificent Mickey Mouse sheets, which went nicely with our fancy Mickey Mouse lamp. I thought that was pretty special. We took turns making the bed every day, but there are an uneven number of days in the week, which would make for an unfair bed-making schedule. Thus, we got Saturdays off.

After we grew out of that bed, we moved on to individual twin beds with contemporary white metal headboards. We got to pick those out ourselves too. Eventually Julie moved into her own room where the Mickey Mouse bed was, so the twin beds stayed in my room. I rearranged them on occasion, sometimes pushing them together to make one giant bed.

The bedrooms in my house now are fairly small and my furniture is pretty large. My bed has a headboard and a footboard, which are both substantial and take up a lot of space. I have always wanted a bedroom large enough for a sofa, or at least a reading chair. Unfortunately, even if my bed was just normal sized, there still wouldn't be any extra room for ancillary furniture.


If you're in the market for a new headboard, or new bedroom furniture of any kind, check out CSNStores.com. They have over 200 stores that offer lots of unique items for your home and family.

Thanks to CSN Stores, one lucky reader of Lame Adventures will win a $50 gift certificate to any of CSN Stores' online stores. CSN Stores offers everything, including furniture, home decor, housewares, outdoor items, baby and kid stuff, school and office supplies, shoes, bags, luggage, pet supplies, and health and fitness equipment. CSN Stores is a one-stop-shop for just about anything you might need.


To enter: check out CSN Stores' 200+ stores and leave a comment to tell me what item you would use the $50 gift certificate to buy.

For additional entries (leave separate comments for each):

  • become a follower of Lame Adventures
  • post a direct link to this giveaway on your facebook status 
  • blog about the giveaway; leave a direct link to your post in the comment
The winner will be selected by a random draw. Make sure your comment gives me a way to contact you if you win. If I can't get in touch with you, I'll have to select another winner!

The giveaway ends at 10:00 pm, central time, on Sunday, June 20, 2010.

Due to shipping issues, the giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

Nobody paid me to say nice things about CSN Stores, but CSN Stores is giving one of my readers $50 worth of stuff. Lucky readers!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lucy-kins


This is my dog, Lucy. She is a good dog--most of the time. She spends her days lounging under her favorite shade tree, waiting for C. to load her into the pickup and go for a ride.
She loves going for rides. Herding cattle is one of her favorite activities, even when she's not supposed to. Sometimes they end up chasing her, which is pretty funny. When she has too much free time, she likes to wander around in nearby pastures finding dead things to drag into the yard. I'm not sure how she finds so many cattle bones to decorate the yard with. It makes mowing particularly difficult because I refuse to actually touch the bones, but I can't mow over them. We currently have some ribs under her shade tree. They are disgusting, but bones don't move on their own, and I don't move them either.
This is what Lucy looks like when she knows she is about to go into the house. She is an excited blur. Can you see her smiling? When she comes in the house, she sits quietly on her rug until it is time to go out. She is quiet, because she knows that we will sometimes forget to send her outside for the night.
Another of her favorite activities is herding cats. The kitty babies have learned how to escape from their pen. I have found wet, sticky kittens in the yard under Lucy's shade tree on several occasions. Sunday I thought we were down to seven kitty babies until I found them quivering under the deck. This morning I caught her in the act. After she ran away in guilt, I had to coax the poor thing out from under the deck and carry the matted thing back to the pen. And while we have been missing one kitten for quite a while (which is quite a miracle, for reasons I will post later), I have no proof that Lucy was responsible for its disappearance.
Other than herding cats Lucy is the best dog ever. And you can't even really blame her for herding cats, she is a Blue Heeler, herding is in her nature.
And if you're looking for a point to this blog, there really isn't one. Just that I have a dog named Lucy who is good. That's all. Have a nice day!

Cherries

On Sunday, Blondie's grandmother offered to let us pick the remaining cherries from her cherry trees. We picked about two gallons: enough for two pies. We don't have a cherry pitter, so Blondie spent over an hour Monday afternoon slicing open the cherries and removing the pits.

Surprisingly, he had not made much of a mess in the kitchen. However, when I returned home from work I zeroed in on a sticky spot on the floor between the kitchen and dining room. I said, "what's this on the floor?" and Blondie laughed.

He had seen the spot just moments before and thought to himself, "she'll never notice that!" Apparently one of the cherries had rolled off the table and my cat had mangled it. When Blondie first saw it, he thought Maynard had killed a tiny rodent or a large bug, but on closer inspection, he realized it was a cherry. He picked it up and threw it away but didn't wipe up the sticky mess. He thought I would overlook the sticky spot, but I didn't.

I have eagle eyes when it comes to messes. You can't sneak a little mess by me. I'll see it and obliterate it faster than a barn cat will snatch a crippled mouse.

We did make one tart cherry pie that evening. We ate it after supper and it was pretty tasty with ice cream. We froze the other gallon of cherries. We'll use them for another pie sometime soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday!



Today is C's birthday! This is my post about him.

C. is a good boy. He is a hard worker, which irritates me sometimes. But most of the time it makes me happy because it would irritate me more if he were lazy.

He goes through Dr. Pepper and Fritos like no other person I know.
Fortunately for him, he stays skinny with little to no effort.

He tells people that you can remember his birthday because it is the same day as Flag Day. Really, I remember Flag Day because it is the same day as his birthday.

He pretends not to like the kitty babies, but I know he's faking it. He pets them and raves about how adorable they are.

I made the last part of that last one up. But he really does pet them sometimes. Because nobody can resist an adorable little kitten.

His hair really is naturally that color. I think he should have found a pretty girl with blond hair and blue eyes so they could have babies who would grow up to be famous supermodels. Instead he got me.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leisurely California, Day 5

Sunday was our last day in California and we spent it at Golden Gate Park. We actually slept in a bit and Christina cooked us a fancy breakfast of waffles and bacon. After breakfast we made our way across the bay and to Golden Gate Park via public transportation and enjoyed a relaxing day of strolling in the park.

Our first stop was the San Francisco Botanical Garden, which had lots of lovely flowers and trees. This hike was much less strenuous than the one to Pirates Cove! After that, we walked to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was very interesting. Blondie loves Japanese architecture and design so he really enjoyed that garden. There were several different types of bridges and lots of pretty plants. I especially enjoyed the bonsai garden.

We were getting hungry by the time we finished touring the tea garden, so we found a quiet spot in a Redwood grove and had a picnic lunch. Then, we walked a little more and found that the Golden Gate Park Band was playing that day. We sat and listened to the music for a while, then moved on.

We found the Lily Pond and took a little break there, then headed for the Conservatory of Flowers. It is quite a hothouse! There were lots of very lovely flowers and plants from all over the world in this place. I could only dream of growing such things in Oklahoma's climate!

Our day in the park was a nice conclusion to our California vacation. On Monday morning we packed up our stuff, took a final breath of cool California air, and headed home. It was hot and sweaty when we got back to Oklahoma late Monday night, but we were glad to be back. It's time for a nap!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fabulous California, Day 4

We spent yesterday morning at the fabulous Paramount Theatre where we learned about the history of the lovely art deco movie palace and got to tour the facility. Blondie is a big fan of art deco architecture, so this was a real treat for him! He loved all of the soft, indirect lighting throughout the building and I really enjoyed all of the different furniture.

After touring the theatre, we ate lunch at a great Mexican restaurant, then headed to the Oakland Museum of California. This museum just recently reopened, so we were lucky to get to see it. We saw the history and art exhibits; the natural science section is not yet reopened. We spent the afternoon there, then went back to Justin and Christina's place to rest for a little while before dinner.

Yesterday evening, we had dinner at Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe in Berkeley with a couple of Justin and Christina's friends. We had never eaten Thai food before, so this was a new experience for us. After dinner we returned to Justin and Christina's apartment and watched a very silly movie until way past our bedtime. After the movie, we crashed and this morning we slept in. Christina cooked us a lovely breakfast of waffles and bacon and Blondie and I are headed to Golden Gate Park for the day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hilly California, Day 3

We spent yesterday in San Francisco proper, enjoying lots of tasty cuisine and local attractions.

First, we took the BART across the bay to the city and walked through downtown. We watched a cable car turn around (they drive onto a platform, the platform spins, and they're on their way) and did some shopping. I really enjoyed the excellent fabric store we visited. I restrained myself and only bought one notion, but there were many different lovely fabrics I would have liked to have Blondie lug around for me all day.

After our downtown shopping, we walked to Chinatown. There, Christina showed us some of her favorite shops. We tried steamed pork buns at a bustling bakery there, visited a Buddhist temple, and bought some fortune cookies at a tiny little factory down a secluded alley.

After walking up and down all of those hills, we were ready for a rest. We ate lunch at North Beach Pizza. Christina and I were stuffed, but Blondie wanted dessert so he got a raspberry puff (a raspberry turnover) at Italian French Bakery and ate it while we walked to Telegraph Hill.

There, we met Justin and walked up and down some more hills, then caught a cable car and went to the San Francisco Maritime National Monument at Fisherman's Wharf. After touring a couple of the ships and enjoying the view of Alcatraz and Coit Tower, we took a bus to the Mission.

This neighborhood has some really interesting shops. Two we visited included a pirate store and a shop full of oddities ranging from stuffed animals (of the formerly live variety) to plants and seashells.

We topped off the day at the very lively Suppenkuche where we had a very delicious German dinner. Everyone in our party tried a different dish again and all tasted bits of each other's dinner. Everything was so good! We were all very full, but we decided we could spare just a little room for dessert. Blondie, Christina, and I shared a delicious piece of Black Forest Cake.

We're headed to the Paramount Theatre today. I can't wait!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunny California, Day 2

Yesterday we had a lovely day along the Pacific Coast and redwood forest. Blondie's uncle Justin took the day off work to spend with us and the four of us drove out to Muir Beach. We had a picnic lunch on the shore and waded in the cold water for just long enough to take some photos. Then, we took a long hike to Pirate's Cove.

It felt like it was much longer than the 1.1 miles noted on the trail marker. It was a lot of up and downhill hiking, but it was worth the walk. It was very warm yesterday, so we were thankful for the occasional slight breeze to cool us off. Pirate's Cove was very secluded; we were the only people there. It was quite a memorable place, for reasons I will share later.

After we hiked back from Pirate's Cove, we drove a little further to Muir Woods National Monument to see some of California's famous Redwoods. We enjoyed a relaxing walk through the forest and then Justin and Christina treated us to dinner a lovely little local restaurant. The Sand Dollar Restaurant at Stinson Beach had live music and delicious food. We each ordered something different: I had fish and chips, Blondie had a chicken pot pie, Christina had a mushroom polenta, and Justin had fish tacos. Everyone cleaned their plates! Christina also introduced Blondie and me to oysters. They have a unique texture, but they're really tasty.

After dinner, we drove back to San Francisco to the Exploratorium for their adults only evening event. It certainly appeared to be date night! By the time we left the museum, we were all completely exhausted (I was worn out long before that, though!) and we returned to Justin and Christina's place and crashed.

We had such a great day. The unexpectedly warm weather was nice for our picnic and hike, and we only got a little sunburned. Today we're looking forward to seeing some more of San Francisco.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day



Our Memorial Day weekend was filled with exciting activities. We had a great time at both the wedding and the concert. But I think it is important to remember the real reason for Memorial Day. My family has always gone to cemeteries to decorate our family members' graves with flowers. Memorial Day was always very important to our grandma, because not only were her husband and most of her brothers veterans of World War II, but she was a nurse in the army as well. We have continued this tradition because we know she would want us to.

Typically, local VFW Posts will display flags at the headstones of veterans who are buried there. One of the cemeteries we visit acknowledges the Civil War veterans with Confederate flags. Their poor flags are wearing out. This one is being held together with hay bale twine.

I find cemeteries to be very interesting places. You often find headstones with very detailed art and descriptions of the person it represents. This one did an excellent job of telling the couple's story. It listed their children, there was a poem, and it had clip art with images of things they enjoyed doing. My two favorite parts were the planters in boot shapes, and the pictures of their dogs. I think dogs should always be listed right along with children. They are often more loyal and well behaved than actual children.


This was one of my favorites because there was obviously a story behind it. At first I thought one of the man's coffee shop buddies had left it there for him. Then when you read the cup, and had a quote about hard working women. I wish I knew these ladies' story, I'm sure it's a good one; most likely one that would make you giggle. It would definitely be an excellent blog prompt for someone out there who is more creative than I am.

Vacation!

I'm on vacation!

Blondie and I left early yesterday morning for our exciting (not lame) adventure in California. His aunt and uncle live in the bay area and casually suggested that we might enjoy coming to visit them someday. We took that as a formal invitation and here we are!

We had an uneventful, but interesting, flight. We were near the last to board the plane, so we were lucky to find the last two available adjacent seats near the rear of the plane. The poor, unsuspecting computer science graduate student next to us was having troubles with his luggage. His suitcase was too stuffed to fit into the overhead compartment, so he had to rearrange some things. Even after rearranging, it was still bulging a little. He pushed and shoved to get it into the compartment, but it wouldn't go (his physique was of the puny variety). Blondie gave it a good shove and it was in.

Since he had been rearranging things, he warned us that he might have missed something. Sure enough, when Blondie stood up, he found an awesome pair of 3D glasses. Computer Science Guy was thrilled that Blondie had retrieved those because he would have certainly missed them at the movie he was going to watch later in the afternoon.

As we left the plane, Computer Science Guy stopped to rearrange his luggage again and as he opened his backpack his laptop and a bunch of papers spilled forth. Blondie grabbed what landed on the floor and carried them to the waiting area for him. His thesis was safe!

Blondie's aunt Christina picked us up at the airport and we got settled at their apartment. They live in a lovely area where flowers bloom everywhere and you can walk to lots of great stores and cafes. She took us to her favorite Israeli restaurant where I enjoyed a falafel sandwich, a dolma, and some very interesting mint lemonade. The lemonade contained a whole lemon, rind and all, blended with mint. It was very tasty, but the texture was quite different than anything I had experienced. Blondie said that the ground up seeds reminded him of toenails.

After lunch, Christina took us to Berkeley where we visited lots of really unique shops and her favorite supermarket. The highlights of our shopping excursion were the Japanese woodworking store and the pet shop.

Christina and Blondie were in the market for good chef's knives, which they found at Hida Tool. This store had lots of really interesting woodworking, gardening, and cooking tools. Plus, the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful!

The other store that really caught our attention was the East Bay Vivarium. This store had an incredible selection of reptiles, and two lazy dogs. While we were there, one of the store's employees fed a rabbit to a giant boa constrictor. The rabbit didn't seem skittish at all, which really surprised us. The employee said that the rabbit was about as aware of the snake slithering around it as we would be of a cougar stalking us in the forest. Apparently, mealtime for snakes can take a while because we stood and watched the snake investigate the rabbit for quite a while. Nothing exciting happened while we watched and I'm kind of glad we didn't stay to see the rabbit meet its demise. It was so cute and cuddly looking. But, you know, the circle of life and all...

When Blondie's uncle Justin returned from work, we all had dinner and talked all evening. That was really our favorite part of the day. We loved all of the different stuff we got to do, but Blondie's aunt and uncle are a lot of fun so we're really enjoying visiting them.

We're looking forward to more fun activities today. Look for an update tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flaming Hula Hoop and Red Dirt Rangers


My weekend's excitement didn't stop with the wedding. My Memorial Day weekend was packed!

I have been begging C to take me on an adventure for at least two months. It seems like our weekends always get scheduled with things that we have to do instead of things we want to do. We finally got a free Sunday afternoon this weekend. There is a quaint little lakeside town about an hour away that has lots of fun festivals throughout the summer. Last weekend they they had a Red Dirt ball, with free entertainment.

This is a fun little place even when there isn't scheduled entertainment, so we decided to take a little road trip. We had supper at a wonderful restaurant that we had gone to with Lisa and Blondie last summer. It was just as good this time. We think it is in an old train station, so the building is very interesting, and the food is great!


We also wandered along the little stream that runs through town. The best part was the little group of baby geese that were paddling along. I wanted to load them up in the car and introduce them to my kitty babies, but that didn't seem like such a good plan.
We also came across this log that someone had (legally?) carved a face into. It was pretty nifty. 9:00 finally came around, so we decided it was time to find our way to the stage and set up our lawn chairs to watch the music. Near the stage was a lady selling homemade hula hoops that were pretty fancy. Once it was dark she did a flaming hula hoop show (the fiery part didn't touch her, it was on sticks that protruded off the hoop). It was pretty neat, until her hula hoop broke and went flying towards the crowd. Fortunately, it flew in the one direction no one was sitting. She and her husband quickly stomped out the little fires and put up the hula hoop. It was the most exciting part of the night.
Oh yeah, there was music, too. The Red Dirt Rangers finally started playing after a loooong sound check. Their music was pretty good, but about 20 minutes into it some cold, sprinky rain started to fall and I wasn't interested enough in them to watch them play in the rain. We loaded up our chairs and headed home. It was a fun night, even if we spent more time wandering around the stream than we did listening to music.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meet the New Mrs.

I have a love/hate opinion of weddings. I hate how they get extremely blown out of proportion. I hate how they tend to bring out the selfish, crazy person out of everyone. I hate how they are so expensive. I hate how they are so stressful.


But I actually love them. I love how the couple is so cute and happy. I love the excitement and anticipation that comes before the wedding. I love how once the wedding day actually arrives everyone is happy. I especially loved the one I attended this weekend.

I got to be in my cousin, G's, wedding this weekend. First of all, I am jealous and amazed by her rehearsal. To this outsider, everything went exactly as planned. Things started on time. Everyone was where they needed to be, and no one had to ask twice for them to get in their place. Their priest did an excellent job; he knew exactly what he was doing. I love people who know what they are doing. He was a wonderful director. He was the main reason everything went so smoothly.

The wedding was so pretty! I had never been to a full Catholic wedding. I loved that G got to have a ceremony that lasted more than 15 minutes. It seems like such a waste of a wedding dress for our puny 15 minute Protestant ceremonies. Her dress was gorgeous. It needed at least an hour of stage time. And I was pretty impressed with the performance of her non-Catholic bridesmaids for not messing anything up! We stood and bowed and did all the things at the right time! You would have thought we were professionals.

The rehearsal went smoothly, the ceremony was nice, but the best part was the reception. Catholics know how to throw a party. Well, Catholics and Mama C, as G's mom is now known. Mama C was everywhere all at once, putting out food, answering questions, and generally keeping everything in order. She also looked pretty cute in her boots with her formal dress. You could tell she was planning to get some work done. Another thing that made the reception so much fun is that G has awesome friends. Her bridesmaids were a lot of fun. One of them even dragged me out on the dance floor for the "Cupid Shuffle." That is what I am attempting to do in this photo. My lovely partner had to drag me through the first part until I finally figured out that the lyrics were telling me exactly what to do next. You can see her hand hovering close to mine so she could pull me to the next step if she needed to. And she needed to. Many times. This farm girl has no rhythm. I had fun despite my lack of dancing skills. I might even considering doing it again...if she promises to be my partner again!