Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Wedding Meme

1. Where/How did you meet? We were introduced to each other by our mutual friends, the Killicks. Tom worked for my dad, and I also knew him from my time working for Pfizer down in Florida. Kellie's best friend is Becky, who is married to Chris' youngest brother John. The four of us met for happy hour at Rio Grande Cafe at the Reston Town Center. Tom and Kellie had to leave after about an hour, and Chris and I stayed around for another few hours by ourselves just talking.

2. How long have you known each other? 7 years this June 12th.

3. How long after you met did you start dating? We went on our first date the week after we met. We went to Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville. It was a Thursday night. I know this because it was the first year of Survivor and I swore I wasn't going to watch that show. Chris dropped me off at my house at around 8 p.m. and asked if he could stay to watch the show. We weren't able to go on another date until the 4th of July, because both of us were traveling (not together!).

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 6 months

5. How long was your engagement? 10 months

6. How long have you been married? 5-1/2 years

7. What is your anniversary? October 6, 2001

8. How many people came to your wedding reception? about 150

9. What kind of cake did you serve? A 3-tiered basket weave cake. The top and bottom layers were a white cake with almond flavoring and raspberry filling. The middle cake was carrot (for my dad). I had a groom's cake made for Chris since he loves chocolate. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing. There was a picture of Bailey (our dog) on the top. However, no one we've talked to ever got any of it. I think the wait staff must have absconded with it!

10. Where was your wedding? at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Herndon, VA - the same church my parents were married at 34 years earlier. Normally this might not be that note-worthy, except that my family never lived in Northern Virginia. I moved here in 1996, my parents coincidentally moved here in 1998, and Chris just happened to go to St. Joseph.

11. What did you serve for your meal? We had a choice of tenderloin or chicken. Chris had the tenderloin, and I had the chicken - I wish I had gotten the tenderloin it was so good.

12. How many people were in your wedding party? 8 groomsmen, 8 bridesmaids, a ring bearer and a flower girl.

13. Are you still friends with them all? Half of the wedding party was family, the other half we are still friends with - one of the groomsmen we haven't seen since I was pregnant with my first son though!

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? No.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? There are 3. The first one is when I walked down the aisle. We had a bagpipe play down the aisle after Lori, my maid of honor, and then the organ played me down the aisle - all I could do was look at Chris standing up there. The second is when Chris and I said an extra prayer/vow. I can't remember the name of it, but we each promised to be the best husband/wife we could be and that if God blessed us with children to be the best parents we can be. The last was when everyone held hands during the Our Father.

16. Any funny moments? When my brother was in college he ran hurdles, and started this "Leg Dance" that has become a tradition of sorts at McDonald family weddings. My brother started the "Leg Dance", and then my dad went out and all of a sudden all of my uncles were out there kicking their legs up like they were Rockettes!

17. Any big disasters? Not a big disaster, but we didn't realize that Herndon High School's homecoming parade was the same morning as our wedding, and streets were closed down. Our videographers made it just in time to record my mom being seated. And our photographer's assistant just didn't show because she had trouble getting to the church so we had to recreate our kiss since the photographer was reloading his camera at that exact moment in the ceremony. There was a post-near-disaster however. My mom made our ring pillow from part of my paternal grandmother's wedding dress. It was beautiful. After the ceremony, we never talked about who was to retrieve it from our 7 year old ring bearer. After we got home from the honeymoon, we couldn't find the pillow! We asked my mom if she had it, to which we got the horrified response, "You don't know where it its!!??" We spent the next month talking to everyone we knew to see who might have the pillow. Everyone that is except my brother Michael. He and his wife Jennifer put it in their car, and figured we knew where it was, and that they were going to bring it back up at Thanksgiving. Needless to say, during our blessing at Thanksgiving where we say the things we're thankful for, the return of this pillow was right there at the top!

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to Young Island, which is a resort on the island of St Vincent - south of St. Lucia, north of Grenada. It was the most amazing time. While we were there, the anthrax scare was happening. There were no phones, televisions, newspapers on the island. The only thing was a New York Times digest. It was very surreal to read about it.

19. How long were you gone? 10 days.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I would have our wedding at 2 pm instead of 11 am - I had to get up at O-dark-thirty to go get my hair done!

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?: Looking at the bed from the footboard, I sleep on the right side.

22. What size is your bed? King.

23. Greatest strength as a couple? Our faith.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple? My desire to spend, and his desire to save. It's a constant work in progress.

25. Who literally pays the bills? He does

26. What is your song? Hmmm I don't know that we actually have a song. The night that we determined we were boyfriend/girlfriend, we were at a Jimmy Buffet concert, and we danced/swayed to A Pirate Looks at Forty. Not very romantic, but it always makes me smile when I hear it.

27. What did you dance your first dance to? I Could Write a Book by Harry Connick, Jr.

28. Describe your wedding dress: Halter/tank dress with seed pearl beading on the bodice, a plain, full skirt with seed pearl design on the bottom of the dress.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? White roses and alstromeria. My bouquet had a porcelein Irish horseshoe tied to it for luck.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Yes. They say C & C 10.6.01

31. How old were you when you got married? 30

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mary's A Single Mom

Between the ages of 16 and 26, my family lived in South Florida. Each year after Christmas, we would pack up the decorations, including our family nativity scene, and put them up in the attic above the garage. For those of you who are not aware of how hot it can get in Florida, especially South Florida where you have summer, and not quite summer - it gets hot! One Thanksgiving weekend as we were unpacking the Christmas decorations, we noticed that Joseph was no where to be found. It seems that he just disintegrated in the Florida heat - or maybe the termites got to him, we'll never know. So the long standing joke in my family was that Joseph walked out on Mary, and she was a single mom. We ended up getting a new Joseph, but he never quite matched up with Mary and Jesus the way the original Joseph did.

So today, on the Feast of St. Joseph, I take a moment to reflect on the life of this humble man who listened to the call of God and became the care taker of God made man. I imagine that was probably a large leap of faith on the part of Joseph, as it was for Mary in a different way. I remember hearing a homily just recently where our priest talked about Joseph and it really stuck with me. He said, poor Joseph, there he was with Mary, conceived without sin, and Jesus, the Son of God. If something went wrong, who do you think got the blame - yeah, Joseph. I'm not doing this homily justice, but I hope you get the point.

Today I spent some time with Brian and Sean talking about Joseph. We talked about how he was a carpenter, and made things out of wood, using tools just like Handy Manny.

Okay, so that's a bit of a stretch, but it gave them a concrete image to connect with Joseph. Sean remembers Joseph from our discussion about the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. We had a picture to color, and Sean knew exactly who Joseph and Jesus were. So did Brian for that matter. When I asked Brian who Joseph was, he said "Mary". He recognized that Joseph goes with Mary, the way he relates his aunts and uncles together. In fact when we pray our Rosary, he picks up the Mary bottle (that used to have healing water in it from Lourdes, but has long since evaporated)

and the cross with Jesus on it, and he always starts out saying "this is Mary and Joseph". I correct him that it's Jesus, and he always responds "Mommy, Mary loves Jesus, and Jesus loves Mary". How insightful and true. And they all love you Brian, Sean and Colin...they all love you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy St. Paddy's Day (1 day late)!

So I know I'm belated in writing about St. Patrick's Day - but I was drunk with corned beef and cabbage! My mom's corned beef and cabbage to be exact. It was wonderful that St. Patrick's Day fell on a weekend so that we could go to my parents' house for dinner.

Now, yes there is the celebration of the life of Patrick and all he did to bring christianity to the pagan country of Ireland. He really was a remarkable man when you think about it. He was kidnapped from him home, taken to Ireland and sold into slavery. For 6 years he was treated cruely, and forced to take care of pigs. Many people would harbor a grudge against the people who treated them so poorly. But not Patrick. He heard the voice of God and listened to it. He went back to Ireland to bring God to the people there. What an amazing man - a good lesson to try and remember when someone treats you wrong.

So, now that we have the Catholic perspective on St. Patrick's Day taken care of, let's get back to the food! My mother makes the best corned beef and cabbage around. She puts the corned beef into the crockpot the night before - a full 24 hours of slow cooking ensures an incredibly moist, tender, melt-in-your-mouth delight! I've heard of people making corned beef in the oven like it's a roast. I'm sure that's fine, but the shredded deliciousness that my mother creates every year is something that just can't be beat. And of course, don't forget the homemade oatmeal bread. Nothing better than a little tender cabbage and corned beef piled high on a slice of oatmeal bread - an open faced slice of heaven!

A dear friend of mine pondered why we only have corned beef and cabbage one day a year. I guarantee that this will not be the last time I have this meal this year.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Couple Weeks Late, But Here's Colin at 3 Months!

Surfs up, dude!

Look how big I'm getting! I have a little bit of the Groucho Marx thing going on as well. I can smile, coo and blow bubbles now.


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shameless Plug

I will admit it, this is a shameless plug for myself. You see, I am trying to start a business creating hand-stamped cards, invitations, announcement, etc. I recently made a couple of cards that I'm particularly proud of and want to share here with my loyal reading audience (LOL).

This is a card that I made for my good friend Daniella to thank her for inviting us over for dinner and for all the things that she does for us and our boys. She loves giraffes, so when I got this set, I just knew I had to create a card with it for her.

This card was made for a neighbor's 40th birthday party. It is a gate-fold card (the center opens up to reveal the inside).

Finally we have a "punny" card that I made for my dad, the King of the Pun, for his retirement. It's kind of corny, but I got really inspired one night and just had to create this card. The pieces on the front of the card are woven together, and then stamped with a watermark ink to give the illusion of fish swimming in the background. I think I managed to use all of the stamps in this set on this one card!

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of my creative mind. I'll occassionally put in other shameless plugs for myself - hope you don't mind. If you get a hankering to see more of my work, check out my website - And let me tell you what an incredibly talented webmaster I have - none other than the world famous Chris Kelly, who happens to design websites in addition to being the greatest husband and daddy on the planet!

Splish Splash I Was Takin' A Bath...

Daddy doesn't like it so much when we splash water all over the floor...but it sure is fun!

Here we are sporting our new cool towels that Great Aunt Jeanie and Great Uncle Dave sent us. Aren't we scary looking monsters? And how did Aunt Jeanie know that Brian likes green just like the color of his eyes, and Sean likes blue just like the color of his eyes? I don't know what we're going to do with Colin - he looks like he's going to get Mommy's brown eyes.

Silly boys

We had a bout of the sillies over here. Here's what they produced...

Mother Mary, Pray for Us

We have a new addition to our upstairs hallway - a prayer table. We pray our nightly Rosary decade with the boys here.

I used my old nightstand as the base and covered it with a white table cloth. Since I have about a million candles languishing around this house, I decided to put them to good use on the table. I made the prayer box with a picture of Our Lady of Lourdes out of a shoe box and paper and ribbon from my Stampin' Up! supplies. I had the boys place the red roses at Our Lady's feet the first night we used the table. The rosaries are hanging on a key rack that I picked up at Target. Brian is very good about putting the rosaries away (in a certain order, mind you) every night after prayers. The wooden cross is hand carved from olive wood from Jerusalem. Chris and I purchased it along with a rosary for our first baby (Brian) before he was born. The holy water font was a gift to Colin on his baptism from our good friends the Foss family.

I wasn't sure at first if the boys would sit still and pray a decade of the Rosary, but I was really hopeful. They have truly exceeded my expectations of little ones. Brian, from the start, has been very attentive. He mouths the words to the prayers right along with Chris and I. Sean was a little more difficult and headstrong at first (typical), and wanted to say the prayer his way. After just a few days of showing him how to pray the rosary, he sits right on my lap and hardy makes a sound. Just a couple of nights ago Chris was at his Knights of Columbus meeting, so it was just the boys and I getting ready for bed. Both Brian and Sean actually said all of the prayers out loud with me. It was a thrilling moment to hear their little voices joined in prayer. They also love to hold their rosary beads, and make sure to tell me which color they want to pray on each night.

I also bought a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Grace. Her beauty really called to me.
As you can see, she has a pretty strong affect on Brian and Sean as well!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2 Down, 10 to Go

2 months down, 10 more to go. As we enter March here's my update on how I am did in February

1. 14 week house cleaning plan - Rocking and rolling on this one. I didn't actually do the kitchen in one week - it's a process, but I cleaned out all of the bottom cabinets and cleaned out the drawers, as well as went through the rest of the pantry. I have SOO many boxes and bag of items to give to charity. The group that we tend to donate to most often is The Lupus Foundation. I don't personally know anyone with lupus, but they come to my house, and they take pretty much anything you can think of to donate.

2. Keep home running with weekly chore list - Doing better on this one. Still haven't made it a permanent habit, but definitely getting better. The hardest part is getting the vacuuming done - since it scares Sean when it runs. Although Brian has made a breakthrough and would rather help me vacuum than sit on the couch with fear in his eyes.

3. 36 x 36 - Still only trying to eat until I get full. The problem I'm running into is that since I gave up full sugar drinks for Lent, my body is craving it in other ways - ie. chocolate. I really have to be aware of this habit.

4. Read bible daily - I get an A+ on this one. Still cruising through my daily readings. I have a feeling I'm going to slip up a bit in March due to a trip we are taking.

5. Go to confession once per month - Woo Hoo!!! After 1947 days, I went to confession! I think I scared my pastor a bit when I said, "Bless me father, for I have sinned, it's been 1947 days since my last confession". He actually asked me how I figured that out. I said, well, I have time in the middle of the night. He asked me if I have ADD, and I said no, a newborn! I feel so good having finally taken the plunge and gotten back in that confessional.

6. Celebrate the liturgical year with my kids - I did buy CHC's A Year With God from Elizabeth. However, the only saint day we celebrated this month was St. Valentine's Day. Next month should be better with St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and the Annunciation.

7. Exercise 30 minutes/day 3 days/week - DOH! This one has been a failure. Got to get with the program. I've found that I can't sleep at night, so I'm totally exhausted come morning, and then am cleaning my house during the boys' nap time. Excuses, excuses, I know.

8. Play with my kids - We're still having fun together. Reading lots of books, playing cars on the floor. I'm enjoying this resolution.

9. Get SU! business back on track - The church auction didn't seem to pan out as far as generating more business. I'm actually going to take this one in a different direction. I've realized that I just don't have the time or energy to devote right now to making calls and trying to drum up parties. And I certainly don't have the time to be away from my family at night. I am going to concentrate more on getting my card making business going.

I've definitely done better in February than I did in January. I feel pretty pleased at my growth thus far.