Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Woodland Wedding.











 To say this was a momentous occasion would simply be an understatement.
It was a tremendous joy to witness such love.
Congratulations to all four of you.  
We wish you nothing less than a lifetime of happiness.

Setting the Stage...


 Ang, El, Shelly and I were put in charge of bringing Shank and Niki's woodland wedding vision to fruition, but we threw in a couple of our own surprises, too!  As our gift to the happy couple, we saved a ton of cans, strung them with string and filled them with autumn flowers.  We hung more than sixty arrangements from the bridge they were married on. We thought it set a whimsical tone for this important day perfectly.


 Our bride and groom loved the idea of getting married in front of a door and after Leif, Brian, Shank delivered it to the woods the ladies adorned it with flowers and the stage for a lovely ceremony was set.
 From there the four of us headed over to the famed Ishnala restaurant on Mirror Lake to set up the intimate reception hall.  The centerpieces featured Shank's incredible birdhouses; he is an artist in the truest sense of the word and each one, woven out of cans, was nothing short of remarkable.  Sunny sunflowers and quaint table markers finished the look.  Setting out an assortment of cupcakes and homespun toppers meant everything was in order and it was time to get to the business of the day!




Arriving in Baraboo.


After a breathtaking drive filled will gorgeous fall color and settling into the Wilderness Resort, we headed over to visit Shank and his family in Baraboo.  We held a very brief and casual wedding rehearsal before exploring their beautiful home and sitting around a roaring bon fire.
 Shank and Niki make a lovely couple and their historic and lovingly restore home is a direct reflection of their spirit.



 The place was crawling with a crop of beautiful children, but it was a total delight meeting this young lady.  Shank's daughter sure takes after her Daddy!

 At the end of the evening we were put in charge of a just a few important wedding details. 
Yikes!  We knew we had an extraordinary day ahead of us.
And a member of our happy crew even ended up with a Baraboo-boo.  Four stitches later, Zane's chin was back in one piece and he was ready to hit the water park the next morning!

Old School at the Old Fashioned.

Leif's closest friends from his high school days in Racine have always been known as The Bomb Squad.  Sure, those core six fellows have picked up more than a few amazing friends along the way, but nothing could tamper with the bomb squad bonds between, Scoob, Shank, Bubba, Wermp, Figger, and BP. It is hard to imagine that the second generation of this extraordinary group is already ten strong and they even let in a few girls! This week-end we Figger, BP and the rest of us pulled up stakes and headed to Baraboo, Wisconsin  to witness the sixth and final bomb squad boy get married; Shank's wedding was an occasion not to be missed!

 On our way, we stopped off to have lunch in Madison at The Old Fashioned. The restaurant is darling and celebrates the grand traditions upheld at iconic Wisconsin supper clubs.  Say hello to lazy susans filled with pickles, dilly beans, deviled eggs,beets, and potato salad!
 And summer sausage, pickled herring, smoked trout and liverwurst.
Hello Wisconsin!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I need to look younger.

Ever since I celebrated my birthday Facebook seems a little overly concerned with my anti-aging regimen, but this ad is a little disturbing!  I am sure I have a few more wrinkles and even a few grey hairs, but I am really hoping this look isn't what being 38 brings...

The 4th Volume

 A year of this blog translates into a hardbound book containing well over 400 pages!  My fourth volume arrived this week and I am just thrilled with how it came out.  The book celebrates an Italian adventure, a surgery, the arrival of a new friend, the loss of an old one, adventurous meals, a memorable wedding, and the entrance of new Oak Park Resident. The annual books that I make through Blurb have replaced photo albums in our lives and we print only a few pictures for framing every year.  They capture the spirit of our family in a spectacular way!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Birthday Wishes from the Kiddos...

...came in cake form this year.  These two darlin's surprised me with a red velvet cake decorated with homemade icing and sugared circles.  No box mixes for these young bakers and best yet, the kitchen was immaculate when they finished their project.  How lucky am I?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prairie Girl Pretending.

So we put on some aprons and jammed a few dozen jars with cucumbers, fennel, dill, chilies, peppercorns, and elephant garlic.  We peeled, chopped, cooked and mashed what can only be described as a sh*t-ton of apples.  Sure, we drank a little too much cider and wine, someone may have accidentally stepped on the cat, and we bailed mid process to eat a steak at The Golden Steer, but at the end of the day we had a bazillion adorably labeled jars of shelf stable pickles and applesauce.  Canning is super gratifying for that reason; you really end up with a lot to show for your hard work!









Thanks to Heather for hosting a fun-filled afternoon where all three of us could all learn a little something along the way; I won't soon forget it!

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