The Wedding – Part III

Final Installment – The Reception

Weddings have been around for centuries, so I doubt there is anything groundbreaking at today’s weddings.  But this reception had a couple of surprises that were new to me.

First of all, my husband played his guitar and sang the song Sweet Pea as the bride and groom had their first dance together.  He even wrote an extra verse about hiking to make it personal.

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The Father/Daughter dance was to a German children’s song, Ohne Dich, that he and Lori used to listen to when she was little, first on tape and later on CD.  In fact we are still big fans of Rolf Zuckowski.  I can’t count how many times she fell asleep to his music.

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There is a trend moving away from traditional wedding cakes.  Let’s face, they weren’t that great.  This wedding offered a variety of cheesecakes from Cheesecakes by Alex which were mouth watering yummy.  On my brother’s recommendation I went for the Bananas Foster and the Peanut Butter – both excellent choices.


When it came time to throw the bridal bouquet and garter – these two had decided to pass on these symbolic items to Doug’s cousin (who will be getting married next summer).

This was a pleasant surprise.  Taking off and putting on the garter turned out to be quite a crowd pleaser, as both gentlemen executed an endearing performance.

So many family members and friends came from all over to join in this celebration and we are grateful to them all.


We have one child, our daughter, and this wedding was a perfect send off to her new life.  Another milestone has passed and we could not be happier!  Thanks for reading about our special day.



The Wedding Part II

I’ve been hiking for over 4 years now and power walking since I was 40.  Saturday, I took the most fulfilling walk of my life, when I got to walk my daughter down the aisle along with my husband.


Weddings don’t really have ushers anymore and she did not want me to have to walk in by myself and wait for her to come out – so she gave me this amazing gift.

The day went so smoothly I almost had to pinch myself.  The bride was so relaxed, and that spilled over to everyone around her.  Two minutes before they got in their dresses, we were chilling in the room.


I have to thank some special people for helping to make this day so perfect.  First Jack & Jaime – the cutest couple ever.  He officiated – his words went from educational – to personal – to quite funny.  She was our coordinator and thank goodness someone was there to keep track of details.


Most importantly was my dear friend, Laurie Buchwald who served as photographer and best friend of the family.  She is truly amazing.

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She had back-up help from her friend Tim, but he escaped being caught on camera.
We are so happy to welcome Doug into our family – these two are crazy in love and such a perfect match.  They will have a fun life together.


The Wedding – Part I

The Rehearsal Dinner

Natty Greene’s Pub  3rd floor Loft, was the perfect venue for the rehearsal dinner for Lori and Doug.  We have been there many times but never had such an emotional evening as this night.

The dinner was for the wedding party and close family members who had made the trip a day early.  My sister and brother-in-law arrived just before the event started and my brother – who suffered many plane delays despite leaving Des Moines very early in the morning, arrived just before dinner.  My husband, whose family all live in Germany, had one representative, his nephew, who came from Berlin and had already been with us for a couple of weeks.

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That’s me with my German nephew, my sister, her husband, and the bride to be

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and my brother.

The emotional part of the evening came when the bridal party was invited into the conference room for gifts.  My daughter gave me the most incredible gift.

When my mother passed away she gave me her pearl ring, a gift from my father that she wore all the time.  I never wore the ring, but I had it cleaned and gave it to my daughter when she was in college.  She loved it and wore it everywhere.  There were little pearls surrounding a larger pearl.  One of the little pearls fell out of its setting and she was unable to find it.  She thought someday she might have to redo the whole ring because it was impossible to find an exact match.

For my gift, she had the original pearls made into earrings.


She then had the ring restored with all new pearls.  She planned to wear it for the first time on her wedding day.

As if that wasn’t enough to bring on the tears, the card had a quote from our beloved Gilmore Girls (which we watched over and over and over).  The quote is from Rory’s high school graduation speech:

“My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. . . I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything.”

For my husband, she painted a replica of their campsite.  For the last several years they have taken a Father/Daughter camping/hiking trip near Mt. Rogers, VA.  They stay at Graceland Highlands and try to get the same campsite each time – lucky number #89.002

Oh yes, dad had a tear or two.

Even the groom got a little teary eyed listening to his father’s speech.

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Oh well, at least we got the crying phase out of the way before the wedding.

A Lovely Distraction

A week from now it will be over, but I know it is going to be an amazing weekend watching my only child get married.  Today, I surrounded myself with good friends for a much needed distraction and to help me celebrate the week before the big day.

It started with a hike (surprise, surprise) to a place I had not been before, Carvin’s Cove.


Hiking with the wedding photographer guaranteed a couple of good pictures!


We got an early start and the weather was perfect.  Did not see any bears even though there had been a 500 pound black bear in the parking lot last weekend.  A bear that was not afraid of people.  As we arrived we were told that we had just missed seeing the bear by about 30 minutes.  We were fascinated by this until we heard the same story upon our return and realized they were feeding this line to everyone.

The first point of interest (according to the information desk) was a tunnel.  We had no idea what to expect from this tunnel – would we walk through it?  How long was it?  Well, it was slightly underwhelming. . .



We were also looking for an illusive School House that never appeared – even though it was clearly marked on the map and we were on the “School House Trail.”  Thanks to some mountain bikers, we learned it is not really there anymore.  If they hadn’t come along, we might still be looking for that structure.

No worries, it was still so beautiful walking along the lake.


And how fun to be hiking with friends.  I think we logged about 8 miles.


With hubby visiting our daughter for Father’s Day Weekend, I really needed a distraction.  The hike was a good way to fill my day, and these lovely ladies showed up to help me enjoy a relaxing evening on my porch.


Going to be an eventful week – I think I’m ready for it now.  Thanks dear friends.




From Pathway to Waterway

Decided to give my legs (mostly my knees) a rest today and work the arms instead.  Since it was going to be a little too warm for hiking, we pulled out the kayaks instead.



I don’t normally try to take pictures while I drive – as I was attempting to shoot this from my phone, I accidentally dialed my brother-in-law (ha) thankfully he didn’t answer and I was able to get this silly shot.


It was a near perfect day to be on the water.


My first time paddling upstream to the Little River Dam.


012 The water was calm for the most part. . .


but we had to paddle extra hard in places as the wind fought against us.



Less than two weeks until the wedding – my boat completely explains how I feel.  Mine is the orange one.

B-day, Wedding, and the Joy of Hiking

In three short weeks, my only child is getting married!  The planning (which began 2 years ago when they got engaged) is done and everyone is ready for a June wedding!  She turned 27 last month, and yesterday came home to have a belated birthday celebration.

After a lovely dinner last night, followed by wedding chatter until midnight, we all got a good night’s sleep so we could go for a relaxing hike today.  This was the first time my daughter had been to our favorite state park – Hungry Mother.

My husband and I go to Hungry Mother several times a year, either to hike, stay in a cabin, kayak on the lake, or just enjoy the town nearby.  I was very excited to share this park with her and we had the perfect weather for it.


We took a trail that was fairly new to me and enjoyed a fantastic view of the highest peak in the park – Molly’s Knob.


I have been to the top of Molly’s Knob, which offers the best view in the park, but this scene is not too bad either.


I regret that it took me so long to discover hiking, but I’m glad Lori is enjoying it at a much younger age.


What a great way to celebrate her birthday, her upcoming wedding, and life!