Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Rehearsal and Dinner.

 photo Blog_0773.jpg
I've written a lot about the wedding and saved the posts as drafts so that I can post them with 900 photos later this month when I receive them from Erica May. Rachel was the photographer at the rehearsal, so this post with photos was ready to go!

Our rehearsal was scheduled for Friday night at 5 o'clock at our church, the site of our wedding. Rachel and Sol arrived at our house in Overland Park around 3 o'clock, and we finished getting ready for the night and loaded ALL the things we needed into their minivan. Perks of friends with kids I suppose. It was nice that they showed up when they did because I was starting to get a bit anxious about getting everything done and the party started. I was so much more nervous about Friday than I was on Saturday!
 photo Blog_0770.jpg
We set up at Jack Stack in the Freight House district before the rehearsal. Kip's mom, Karen, found these awesome really long burlap runners at Walmart. They were so long that they had to be cut off for each of our six tables. The flowers in the center of the table were from Hy-Vee, and to add some variety and set them apart from our Saturday flowers I had them use red carnations in the arrangements. The woman at the counter said, "What about burgundy carnations?" and I refused. The red carnation of Alpha Chi is certainly RED not burgundy. I think she thought it might have been tacky, but I persisted because I know where my heart belongs.
 photo Blog_0771.jpg
I also ordered these prints from Lindsay Letters because I thought the message was too perfect and you know, gold foil. We used gold easels from our large stash of easels, and the table centers were simple and done. On one of the side tables, we set out a ton of photos from our childhood. Front in center is a one that Kip loves - "my favorite shirt!" - and his mom thinks is too cheesy. The groomsmen wondered if I was a tomboy during dinner, and Rachel and Lauren could barely stop laughing to respond that they thought it was the bowl haircut. Humble beginnings, happy wedding, I say. We both grew up nicely. The gifts for our parents and the wedding party were obviously accented with gold, so they added nicely to the table. Of course the best is yet to come sign appeared as well.
 photo Blog_0772.jpg
After the quick setup, we drove over to the church for the rehearsal. Tons of introductions ensued as members of our family and friends met or were reacquainted. As our pastor Todd started the rehearsal, he asked if we wanted to do introductions. It was almost a challenge, and Victoria the extrovert seized the opportunity to introduce everyone in the room as quickly as possible with details appropriate for the event. I was pretty impressed with myself. Todd gave a brief history of our church to everyone, including a new detail that I didn't previously know about the building - at one time it was a car dealership! The wedding coordinator at the church is a sorority sister of mine, and she does an excellent job getting everyone into their position, and we practiced everything enough that I was pretty comfortable with how the next day would go. It took about 45 minutes to run through everything, and then we went back to Jack Stack for dinner and more celebration.
 photo Blog_0775.jpg
Dinner was definitely delicious, from the little I ate. (Nerves!) The party room at Jack Stack is definitely a nice option compared to our favorite barbeque restaurant located in a gas station, and they did an excellent job with all the food they served that Friday night. As everyone was finishing up, Jennie, Andrea, Rachel and Erica gave the sweetest set of toasts about why I would make an excellent wife for Kip. They included funny stories from our years and years of friendship and set the stage for what was a weekend that really celebrated the two of us. The girls were so kind in their toast that Kip teared up, which of course brought tears to my eyes too. Tony and Boone, two of Kip's groomsmen, followed with a couple of stories about Kip including one I love about how he read one of the notes I packed in his lunch to the whole crew at the shop. Boone also pegged me perfectly, describing how Kip used to always be a guy you could count on at the last minute but instead now is a "plan 6 weeks out and check with Victoria kind of a guy." Guilty as charged.
 photo Blog_0774.jpg
We thanked our families and just like that everyone else began to stand, mingle and talk some more. We passed out our gifts to the bridesmaids, groomsmen and our parents, and began to clean up the decorations we had brought along. Everyone laughed at our photos some more, and we celebrated that all the out of town guests had made it safely to the rehearsal and dinner. Mom and I took Lauren home, and then we journeyed south so that I could try to sleep at my mom's. I was pretty excited, nervous and ready for the big day to get underway!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Two Books of November.

 photo Blog_0769.jpg

I seriously put off writing this post for a couple of weeks because I couldn't believe there were just two books to report. It felt like more! But then I finally remembered that I read parts of some other books that I didn't finish and that was part of the problem. Our book club book was "Not That Kind of Girl," and I think a lot of people in the blogosphere really like it. However, it was quite possibly the worst pick ever for my first couple weeks of life with Kip. A lot of unhealthy relationships in the first 30% of the book, and I also have no attachment to Lena Dunham. I've never seen Girls, her tv show, and I don't know if that would have helped either. I hate quitting the book club book part way through, but I'm also 31, and it wasn't the book for me. It's the same advice I tell our middle schoolers, "If the book feels inappropriate for you, you are the best judge of that!"

I pre-ordered Yes, Please! from Amy Poehler because her character on Parks & Recreation is my favorite character of all time. Leslie Knope for president. I actually ordered the audio book so Amy P. could keep me company on my commute back and forth to school. It is impossible to not compare this book to Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling's books, and I think they are all worthy of read. Without a doubt, my absolute favorite part was the whole section about the Parks and Recreation characters. I totally cried a couple times. I also loved that Seth Meyers read the chapter he wrote in the book, and her parents jump in the audiobook a few times too. The reflections on SNL, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and hosting/winning a Golden Globe are all super awesome. Tina and Amy are hosting again in January! Woo-hoo! Should you read it too? Yes, please. (You'll understand her great title choice after you read it.) Side note: Unlike Jim Gaffigan's "Dad is Fat," this book is less appropriate for listening with children in the car. There's some cussing and some graphic language a couple places.

When we got engaged, my friend Leah recommended the book Getting to 50/50. She pointed out that even though it is about working parents, it's the best book that she has read about marriage. I downloaded it before our trip to Manhattan at the end of October, and I read parts of it aloud to Kip both that weekend and on our trip to Oklahoma. We had some great conversations about our various responsibilities at work and at home, and I loved all the parts about reducing personal guilt. It's research based, and the two authors have fabulous studies and anecdotes that they share. A couple of other friends have read it recently, and we have really enjoyed discussing it together. Highly recommend - it's an easy read!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The One Book of October.

 photo Blog_0768.jpg
I read one book, Night Film, amidst the planning and packing filled weeks of October. It was the book club book selection, and Kate managed to pick a book that was a good blend of spooky and mystery. The chapters were short, neat little five minute packages that meant I could easily read a few each night before bed. However, the climax of the story is a long, scary and often confusing chapter, and it kept me up really late one night. I had to make sure everyone stayed alive. I don't really watch thrillers (or read them), so it was a good change of pace. The NPR review gives even more stuff for you to ponder before you pick it up to read yourself. It's a commitment coming in at just over 500 pages.

If you've missed my Junior League blog posts, be sure to click over and read about Korky the kitten and Homeless and Hunger Awareness week. Both make me extremely proud of the work that the Junior League does and painfully aware of the great need in our community.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Some Other Stuff.

 photo Blog_0767.jpg
Since my last blog post, here's some important stuff:

Kip had a birthday. He turned 33. I think it's okay for me to tell you that. It was a lovely celebration that included homemade fried chicken. We've been practicing with this double soak recipe, and it really takes fried chicken to a whole new level. I managed to pull off a couple of surprises with a cake I baked (and frosted) while he sat in another room and a new miter saw. I did my research, and he was so surprised. We have already put the miter saw to use in our house!

The Royals played in seven games in the World Series. It was amazing, even though we didn't win. Lauren went to game six and had an incredible time. I watched most of the games from the couch or while packing stuff up. I pretty much have been packing stuff up since late September, but now I'm in the unpacking stage!

The Luhrs Ladies went to two football games and saw K-State beat Texas and Oklahoma State. We were really hot and got sunburned and then the next week we were really cold and ate ribs. Kip sat in a deer stand during both of the games, and he shot a deer the second weekend he went out.

I saw Jim Gaffigan talk about his new book Food: A Love Story with my sister. I let her keep the copy because Kip and I are about half way done with his audio book. We listened to it while we drove to Oklahoma for his grandmother's funeral, and we also listen to the CDs as we drive to church. It's so funny - just like you would expect from Jim Gaffigan. It also makes me very hungry. Besides listening to Jim G. on the drive to Lawton, Oklahoma, we also stopped at Braum's for ice cream and Guy & Mae's for delicious ribs.

I moved. Slowly, I took load after load in the Pilot to Kip's house. While I worked at Battle of the Books, Kip and some guys from work moved the big stuff to the house Kip already owned. My mom dropped me off at the old house, and Kip, Belle and I drove the final load to our home together. It was a little tiny bit sad leaving my little rental because it was very good to me (and my friends). Kip and I fell in love in that house. But oh my goodness, the new house is quickly becoming our home. Things are unpacked. The office is almost set-up exactly perfect. But the time with Kip is the very best part. I really wish you could have seen how excited he was that first weekend to have me there, even though it meant he had to pick up his socks and share his coffee. I regularly feel loved by that guy, and we're enjoying the final couple weeks until the wedding.

There are still plenty of to-do lists around here for the wedding as we collect final RSVPs, prepare all our DIY projects to take to the rehearsal dinner and wedding, and prepare to celebrate with family and friends. But we have our marriage license, so this thing is real. #kiptoriawedding

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Chicago Marathon in 2006.

 photo Blog_0763.jpg
In October of 2006, I took a quick weekend trip to Chicago. It was my first full year teaching (and learning!) in KCK, and Jennie had just started grad school at Northwestern. She moved from California to Chicago and purchased a whole new wardrobe for life on Lake Michigan. Rachel and Sol flew in from Boston so that they could run the Chicago Marathon.

Because I couldn't take time off from my eighth graders, I traveled with everything I needed in a backpack. That's my reasoning for why I look so exceptionally awesome in the photo above. Jennie and I worked hard to track Rachel all over town and never saw her once during the marathon. The crowds are kind of ridiculous in Chicago, but they are also inspiring. I'm sure I cried and cheered and loved every minute of the marathon watching.
 photo Blog_0765.jpg
We did manage to find Rachel at the end of the race, and apparently the sun came out enough for these very large and ridiculous sunglasses. Rachel wanted a burrito after the race, and even though we were in a city known for deep dish pizza and fancy hot dogs, we obliged. Trump card: 26 miles. Then we took some obnoxious photos and all went back to our homes - the Scotts to Boston, Jennie to grad school and me to Overland Park.
 photo Blog_0764.jpg
These photos jumped out at me as a tremendous flashback to how much life changes in 8 years. The three of us probably didn't ever imagine where life would go between now and then. Jennie still lives in Chicago with her husband, Joe, and Rachel has moved three more times to three different states. And Rachel and I were housemates for two years - something not even on our radar in 2006. We are waiting for Jennie's baby #1 (c'mon already!), and I've cuddled and loved all three of Rachel's sweet baby boys.  Rachel is getting ready to run another marathon (in New York City), and I'm getting ready to move for another time. But this time I get to move in with my soon-to-be husband.

Is there any question that the plans God has for us are far greater than what we can ever imagine? And I'm a big dreamer and doer. Loved this trip to Chicago in 2006 and love that Jennie and Rachel will be there with me as bridesmaids when I get to marry Kip in 36 days.