Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No caption necessary

I love this boy.  And words cannot express how much I love this picture of Michael!  Goofy, wild little man!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby Book

I asked my mom to bring me a couple of baby pictures with her to the wedding over the weekend because I need one for an event I'm going to. She brought me my whole baby book instead.
It is in a very well loved box. :)
It was fun to look through and read some of my mom's comments.  She was very good at keeping my baby book and added significant events even through my childhood.  More stories to come later, directly quoted from the book...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mobile Church and the return home.

It's Sunday, so I missed church this morning. But I remembered before I left that I was going to miss church, so I packed my Bible on CD with all the other "things to entertain me in the car on a road trip."   I started the trip just continuing to listen to my book on tape (heehee...I just realized that technically I should call it a book on CD, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it).  I knew from the trip to the wedding that I would eventually get bored with this, so I decided to "do church" partway through my journey.
I began by listening to a few songs on my iPod.  Fairest Lord Jesus, Before the Throne of God, and Refine Me.
I'm going to be starting a Bible study on 1 John this summer, so I thought I would start by listening to that.  Then I listened to Philippians because Pastor Ritch is going to start a sermon series on that book soon.  Then I listened to some more music for awhile before returning to my book on CD tape.

Here are some other random pictures from my trip home:
I could see my reflection in this truck and it just struck me as funny.
A farmer in a field.  So classic rural Illinois.
Yellow flowers in a field.
This is a horrible picture, but I still wanted to include it.  It was a purple old-timey car pulling a mini purple old-timey car.  I was disappointed that this picture didn't turn out.  That's the hazard of taking pictures while you're driving.  And I'm sure it's the only hazard.
The end is in sight!  First sign for Peoria.  Technically I still had about 45 minutes to go, but it was still good to see home on a sign.

The Reception (wedding part 4)

Here is our table.  Meg did a great job with table decorations.  The centerpieces were vases full of wine corks.  The table numbers were on chalkboard paint on empty bottles.
And these were our table assignments.
Aunt Margaret, mother of the bride.  She looked so beautiful!
John loves Meg, partly for her tattoos.  He had his own tattoos applied before the wedding so he could match her!
Michael entertained himself by playing under the gift table.  :)
John, the budding photographer.  Chris is a great Dad.  I'm not sure I would let my five year old walk around with my very expensive camera.
He thought he was cool stuff!
He actually got some really good pictures.  He probably had the camera for a half hour and he was constantly clicking.  I'd like to know the exact number of pictures he took!
I took him outside for awhile to play.  He enjoyed this "balance beam."  I felt like I was in Dirty Dancing.  You know the scene with the fallen tree over the creek...
This picture is kind of creepy, but John and I went to see the grapes.  John was peeking through some vines.
Run, Forest, Run!
Coming back.
The vineyard.
Michael ate the frosting one finger-tip dip at a time.
John had his dancing shoes on!  When we were getting ready for the wedding he asked me, "Aunt Teresa, do you have your dancing shoes on?"  And I said, "Bummer, I think I left them at home."  And he said, "That's okay.  You can wear any shoes to dance in!"  Ann requested "Who Let the Dogs Out" for him.  He was so excited.  My brother took a video.  We were laughing so hard.  Plus, Michael loves to dance.  I didn't take any pictures because he is VERY serious when he dances and you wouldn't be able to tell from a picture that he is actually dancing.  Chris also got a video of this.

And this concludes the four part wedding mini-blog.  I hope you had fun getting a glimpse into the Vana/Griffin wedding extravaganza!

The Family (wedding part 3)

During the reception, we gathered the WHOLE family for pictures. It was a little bit of organized chaos with a lot of laughter. The motto: Just keep smiling and don't move until someone tells you to because you never know when all the cameras have been used. I'm sure there are better pictures floating around out there of this family event (some people have much better cameras than I do) but this is what I've got for now.
Ann said she wanted a picture with her favorite sister-in-law and I didn't move right away.  I don't get called sister-in-law very often! 
The girl cousins.  I LOVE this picture.  We have a picture from one of my cousin's graduation parties and Michele and I thought it would be fun to take another one.  Meg was game for smiling in yet another picture!
Mom and all her siblings.  I have a picture of them when they are young.  I'll have to do a side-by-side sometime.
All the cousins.  I really should have worn heels for this wedding instead of flip flops.  But I was comfortable.  And someone has to be the shortest. Oh, wait...that still would have been me, heels or not!
The whole family.  Notice that the bride's arm is around her cousin Jake, not her new husband.  Luckily, the people orchestrating the posing finally noticed and rearranged.  Also notice Michael standing in the chair with his feet crossed at the cute.
There you her arm is around her husband! :)  I can't remember the last time we were all together in one place.
Aunt Teresa had to make sure Ann's hair was just right before her picture with Chris.
Perfect, except she couldn't stop laughing at all the funny comments being made!
Aunt Teresa and her boys.  Again, at some point in time they were so little!
Super self-portrait fail!  Father of the bride and my eye and nose.  I forgot that I had zoomed in to take a picture. :)
Aunt Tricia and Michele looking oh-so-pretty! :)
And then we got camera crazy and started just taking random pictures.  Wally wanted a picture with his nieces (that would be me and Michele) but Aunt Teresa jumped into the picture too. 

The Ceremony (wedding part 2)

I know Meg was worried about the weather earlier in the week.  The wedding and reception were at a winery.  And the weather was absolutely perfect.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just a little overcast so the sun wasn't blinding.  Gorgeous!
Dan watching Meg walk down the aisle.
Giving away the bride.  Meg's mom and stepfather both walked her down the aisle.  Shew as a gorgeous bride.  And her dress was stunning and absolutely perfect on her.
I loved the bridesmaids' dresses.  And my aunt made the flowers, which I also loved.  They each had a purple brooch in the center.  Meg's bouquet was all purple brooches.  I wish I had gotten a picture of it.
Michael thought that the middle of the ceremony was the perfect time to unpack the diaper bag.  He actually did really well through the ceremony.
Saying vows.
Sealing of the letters.  Dan and Meg wrote letters to each other and placed them in this box to open a year from now.
The kiss.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Dan Griffin!

Getting Ready (wedding part 1)

I arrived in Carbondale about 2 hours before we had to start getting ready for the wedding. It was a time of catching up with the family in the hotel room, seeing my cousin Michele for the first time in way too long, and then getting ready for the wedding.
John was the ring bearer and pulled a wagon with the flower girl and Michael in it.  John looked so incredibly cute in his vest and tie.  However, he was not so sure about all this wedding stuff, getting dressed up, etc.  At one point in time he said, "What's the big deal about weddings, anyway?!"  It got a good chuckle from all the adults.
Michael figured his pajamas were a good enough outfit and was trying to get his shoes on.
We were still trying to convince John that he looked very handsome, spiffy, wedding-tacular (insert as many adjectives as you can think of in order to get him to buy into wearing a tie and shoes that were uncomfortable).  We did get a smile out of him, even if he was still skeptical.
Have I ever mentioned that I have the two cutest red-headed nephews ever?!
Michael apparently doesn't let much stop him in his quest to explore the world.  "The railings on the deck?  I can conquer these!"
Occupying the boys time while waiting for the ceremony to start.  I love watching my brother be a dad.
Self-portrait success.  Just me and my mom.
Self-portrait fail.  :)  Oh, but it makes me laugh.
I finally handed over the camera and let my aunt take our picture.  Sometimes its hard to believe we used to have sleep overs at Grandma's house when we were little...

 Next up...the wedding ceremony!