Friday, November 28, 2008

The Family That Plays Together

Happy Thanksgiving! This week has been packed with so much to do that I am barely struggling to stay awake to post this but after watching the video of my cousin singing his rendition of The Police's "Roxanne," I just had to blog and post it for you.

But first, let me share with you the best part of my Thanksgiving dinner.

That's the cake my family orders for every holiday, birthday or special occasion. It's kind of a big deal in our family gatherings to always have this cake.

Not only does it taste amazing, but it also holds a lot of good memories, plus I don't think we'll ever get sick of it.

That picture up there is the cake right before I cut into it, and this picture below is the cake the following morning.

Once it gets to that point we pretty much just attack it with forks, no plates or slices necessary because that is how we roll. This cake never lasts 24 hours.

After specifically informing my mom that I was going to sleep in on Black Friday, she and my aunt took turns jumping on my bed at 5:30 in the morning to drag me along on their shopping escapades. After an hour of my refusals I was finally tempted out of bed with the incentive to drive my aunt's new X3.

After finding absolutely nothing I came home, packed my gym bag and headed to the gym to get in some much needed cardio. After an hour and a half of straight running I decided that my hair needed a touch up. And by touch up I mean full highlights. It's a lot lighter in person, my mom thinks I'm blond, she's funny like that.

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, we have a second dinner at my Uncle's place downtown. My sister and I steal a moment to take a picture in the elevator with our desserts but I couldn't quite angle the camera so it's just of the two of us. Underneath her Wii Sports package you can barely see her dessert from Dinkel's, a Hutten Kuchen. Let me tell you, it was tasty.
The Thanksgiving dinner take uncles tried to force feed me a slice of ham, turkey and a spoonful of kare kare, but I dodged their attempts quite nicely, thank you.
And then time for some dessert...And I got to see my super adorable cousin, Aubrie. My uncle handed her some plastic chopsticks and she playfully used me as her drums, I still have both eyes, whew!
And now time for some Laviste-Gregorio Rock Band action. I apologize in advance about some of the wayward angles, yours truly got into the Riesling. Here's my cousin Cameron giving you everything he's got :)

This is his version of "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet.

And my personal favorite, "Roxanne" by the Police.

Isn't he adorable? Now I'm going to try to go to bed so I can make it to tae kwon do class in the morning so I'm sure there are a lot of grammatical errors, please keep in mind I'm about to fall asleep and it is late! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent time with family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Cardens

This is how I spent my summer: full-time summer school, full-time work, laced with final fittings, weekend bachelorette parties, in addition to your typical maid of honor duties. Times two. Both of my sisters, Michaela and Czarina got married this past summer, three weeks apart no less!

I can't properly describe what it's like to have your sisters get married. My sisters are my soul mates, my partners in crime, my role models and my best friends. Oddly enough, I didn't feel any kind of loss because a numbing happiness surged through me at the thought of knowing these men, my brothers in law, will love them more than one could imagine. I've seen my sisters grow, change and better themselves in these relationships and it is only through their relationships that I believe the possibility of love exists.

I don't have permission to post the professional pictures from Michaela's and Paul's wedding, so I do apologize that I only these pictures up. Sorry Bubbas! Hopefully I can do a follow-up blog with Michaela's and Pj's wedding! (Send me pictures!)

But while I'm waiting on those proofs, I have just gotten these pictures from my other sister, Czarina. Now these pictures are but a fraction of the entire album even though I did want to put them all up, I could not. Okay, and I know everyone says this, but never have I ever seen my sisters so beautiful as when they were brides.

And again, these aren't my personal pictures, they were taken by S1 Photography. Oscar and his crew did such an amazing job and really captured what Mike and Czarina are all about. His pictures are romantic, subtle, old world and classic. These are just some pictures of my favorite moments from their wedding day, enjoy! (Click on the image to make it bigger, and if you want a link to the entire album just ask.)

Czarina and Mike: The Cardens
June 15, 2008
Patrick C. Haley Mansion
Joliet, Illinois

The fairy-tale settingTurning my sister into a princess.
Sisters trying not to let our emotions get the best of us.The bridal entourage from left: Renee, Heidi, Me, Michaela, Sam, Czarina, Karen
All of us looking at the camera in all our purple and pink glory.
The groomsmen from left: Vic, Brad, Rob, Mike, Jim, Pj and Chris
Now that's one hot boy-band CD cover if you ask me.
My proud Pops and stunning sister before the ceremony.
Anxious bride...
...and anxious groom.
The prettiest flowergirl I've ever seen.
Moments before walking down the aisle.
A beautiful bride.
Almost there!

"She's so precious!"My proud parents
Mike's proud parentsExchange of the rings.
First kisses as Mr. and Mrs!
My expression says, "I love Cardens!"
She's a Carden!My mom and my aunts tearing up the dance floor.Congratulations Mike and Czarina, I love you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

It seems a little early this year, but I get to work and what do I find!?

Several burly men assembling this gigantic Christmas tree! Although this picture is sans the burly men, (I think they went on break) you can still see this huge tree. Or, huge frame of a tree rather. How exciting is this? I for one am pretty damn excited.

Last year, since the academy is located in the center of the quad, several Christmas trees (much smaller than that one) were put up, lining the cobblestone pathway with festively decorated and beautifully lit trees. I guess this year they decided to make one giant tree instead. No complaints here.

I'm suddenly craving a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. I might just run to Starbucks, but that will certainly ruin my appetite.

Now I don't know where those men went but I hope they come back soon because I want to see that beauty in all her glory. I'll post more pictures if they continue tonight, otherwise I'm here all day tomorrow and you better believe I'll be waiting for it to be completed!