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Winter Fun

February 20, 2010
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Under the cut(s) you will find three sets of photos: (1) Adry Playin’ Around; (2) Outdoors and Icicles; (3) A Few of Friends and Game Night

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Blowing on the Window

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We were roughhousing. I was OWNING! *Ben Ellwood Flex*

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The bright sun has been making these glorious things melt like crazy. Our home is leaking! Ben had to caulk a few holes, and we are good to go.

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Drip Drip Drip

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I was lying on the couch and noticed how the sun was shining through these icicles and making them glow and sparkle. I thought to myself, “I must get a picture!” soo, I hastily threw on some dress shoes and my big puffy white coat and stood on my front porch (looking over a busy street) snapping these photos. In shorts. With bare pasty white legs. And dress shoes. With socks. And a big puffy coat. I noticed a few people doing double takes from their cars. I should have been embarrassed. I wasn’t. Something is wrong with me. In the end, I was not able to capture the beauty of what I saw. I never do; pictures never do nature justice.

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The first game we played was Wits and Wagers. We each had to write our name on these cards and three of the four boys that were there unwittingly wrote their names with “izzles” (Duke wrote Dizzle, Ben wrote Bizzle, and Jacob wrote J-izzle Sanchizzle) having no idea all the other boys did the same. They thought they were being original.

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J-izzle Sanchizzle and Ash

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I couldn’t tell if Ryan made Duke uncomfortable? I don’t know… it’s hard to tell. 😉

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

When I count my blessings…

February 10, 2010
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February 8 AP 39– Our parents’ houses. Ben and I live in an apartment right inside Columbus, Ohio, about a five minute drive from campus, right on a bus line. My parents live in Galloway, in the countryish, with a big fenced-in yard, lots of trees, about a 25 minute drive from our place. Ben’s parents live in a suburban neighborhood with sidewalks and nice neighbors, a big yard, maybe 20-25 minutes from our place. Adry is super blessed to have two sets of loving grandparents, so he spends time at their places frequently. I think he gets the best of three worlds.

February 9 AP 40– A great friend who is willing to drive me to Easton on snowy roads.

I needed my MacBook fixed before my Apple Insurance ran out, and she knows I hate to drive. Being the awesome person that she is, she offered to take me and refused to cancel even though it had been snowing for hours. So, we went. We ate some chinese food while we waited for it to be fixed (because she knows I looove chinese food). And I came home with a like-new MacBook– no more chips on my keyboard! WAHOO!
Thank you, Hutch!

February 10 AP 41– Another great friend and a The Great Physician who can heal what is broken if we obey.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Midnight Bowling!!!

January 26, 2010
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In celebration of my mom’s birthday, and also just to hang out and have fun together while doing something different, a bunch of us went to Midnight Bowling at Sawmill Lanes on Saturday. Great time! Although I am a young, hip, partyin’ 25 year old girl (wink, wink, winkety wink) it’s been a loooong time since I have been out at a public event ’til after two in the morning… WITH MY PARENTS! 🙂

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The group that went, minus Ben and Sammie who left early to pick Adry up. (This was taken at the very end of the night.)

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A handsome fellow. He is wearing his super nice Calvin Klein suit because he and Becca spent the day celebrating their year anniversary.

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See? All dressed up.  In bowling shoes.  Love them.

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Me, Dad, Mom. My dad looks drugged here, but the problem was that he wasn’t drugged. He couldn’t bowl because he was having terrible back pains (herniated disc- he’s had to deal with it for years). He didn’t want to take pain meds because of the side effects, so he suffered through it the whole night just to hang with us. Trooper. Poor dad, I love him and hate to see him in pain. HATE it.

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Les was very excited that her bowling ball knocked some pins down!!!

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Having a good time

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Pammy <3

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Momma, off to a good start!

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Mom and dad <3

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Ben in action

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Ryan’s action shot

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Mom in action!

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Tony also had to sit bowling out due to surgery and pain and pain meds and all that yucky stuff. But he came to hang out with us, too! Trooper dads! They are the best.

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AAAAAND SANDIE was there and ALSO had to sit it out I think due to a car accident knee injury years ago. She took millions of pictures, maybe as much as I did. (I took 113. See, you may think I post all of my pictures, but I’m not even posting half!) Sandie is my mom’s lifelong friend from WV and we love her dearly.

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Matt, Ben, Sammie, Ginny, and the back of Duke’s head

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Sammie, how are you so freakin’ cute?!

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Ben and Matt

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Ash and her mom, Ginny, who organized the night, bought pizzas, and brought a cake for my mom. She is too great. Much thanks to her 🙂

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Cute kids. Tay, Jeremy, Jacob, Becca

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Ash, Ryan, and I

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I tried to get Ash in action, but my camera is too slow, so… here she is standing and looking at her score. 😉

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Matt is doing Ben’s ‘strong guy’ pose- the pose Ben breaks out after he does or says ANYTHING that he thinks is AY-MAY-ZING, which is a LOT of things let me tell ya’.

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Breakin’ out the birthday cake! Happy birthday, Mom!

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Me and Sammie

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Ryan and Matt

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<3 The Ladies <3 Pammy, Mom, Les

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The Four Ladies (Pammy, Mom, Sandie, Les)

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Jacob smile 🙂

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Ash and I

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Jacob’s exaggerated bowling form. Awesome. Especially in the suit. I like how Becca said, in her own LiveJournal ( ): “but I also discovered that Jacob is the single most adorable bowler in the world, what with his over-dramatized…ball-toss….thing…and his reactions.” Becca also said in her journal that she was reminded that she is horrible at bowling. I had a much different experience for myself; I patted myself on the back for my top score of 36. Total. At the end of the game. 36. Um, yeah, you got nothin’ on me.

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Who can get enough of Jacob bowling in a super nice Calvin Klein suit? Not me!

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OK, Becca says Jacob was an adorable bowler, but I must say that the Most Adorable Bowler Award DEFINITELY goes to Rebecca Hoffman. LOOK AT THIS ADORABLENESS! The momentum of that little 6-pound (or whatever) ball with “extra extra tiny” finger holes is going to make her fly backwards! (with much affection, Becca. You are adorable. I love your smallness. I love smallness in general, too.)

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Rebecca, don’t kill me for posting these!! I couldn’t resist! LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE!! LOOK!

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And Jacob Sanders wins the Best Follow Through Award.

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Look at that. Flawless. That probably got me 3 pins. 6 if I was lucky. I win the Most Awesome Bowler Award. Obviously.

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How high can I swing the ball behind me? As high as I want!

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T. Matt in Action!

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Good times. Sammie, Ben, Ash with her eyes closed, Becca in the back, and Ash’s step-dad, Dave

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Sammie fails at the ‘tough guy’ pose. Notice Tony in the background. Matt noticed that Tony was staring into the camera while I was taking photos so he said something to him and…

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there Tony and Matt are, in the background, laughing about it. I didn’t even notice! But at least Sammie managed to do a ‘tough guy’ pose this time 🙂

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Taylor’s action shot!

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Love this one

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Les is a champ!

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Ginny (Ash’s mom), Ash, and Matt are boogyin’ in the music

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Gettin’ down

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My mother was having a very unlucky game so she began to experiment with her form. In this case, she pushed the ball down the lane with her foot. I don’t think it was a very successful move. Teresa Sanders wins the Most Unsuccessful Technique Experimentation Award.

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Ash and I also began experimenting with our bowling technique. I think she was more successful than I at the backwards, between-the-legs bowling form. Perhaps my follow through was poor.

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Jacob says he is NUMBER ONE!

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Sammie in action

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High-fiving after a good bowl

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🙂

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I’m not sure how this happened… perhaps someone else was experimenting with bowling technique, but this ball just STOPPED right in front of the pins and no one (even though we are all incredibly awesome bowlers) could seem to get it to budge by bowling another ball. So, Les walked down the gutter to retrieve it. Because she is Super Amazing Bowling Ball Retriever Lady come to save the day. That’s how awesome she is.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Quarter of a Century

January 5, 2010
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Last year, when I turned 24, I moped around and was in denial for a few days until I made the fantastic decision to APPRECIATE and find the beauty in every age and stage of life. When I voiced my decision someone’s response was, “Wow, that’s lame,” and so of course, but only for a minute, I retreated back to sulking and self-doubting and counting all the years that dragged me further away from my youth…

BUT, you know what, even if my decision IS lame, I EMBRACE THE LAME because it totally worked. Totally. Not only did I really enjoy celebrating a new year and a new age, I looked forward to it! I’m past my quarter life crises; I don’t even think 30 will get me down, now. I’m excited to live my current life of being a young mother and wife, I’m excited to raise my children, I’m excited to watch my children have children… life will be good all the way through because every stage and experience is beautiful.

For my birthday I requested, from The Food Woman, wet burritos. And no bake cookies.
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Wet burritos is an art perfected by The Food Woman. The ooey gooey cheesy yumminess, the rice, the corn, the beans, the sour cream, the chewy tortilla, the chicken. It is one of my favorite Food Woman meals.

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It was very strange because I sat at the head of the table. No one has sat there, except Ginny, for four years. It was our first Sunday meal without her.

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I had a Coke for the first time since before Thanksgiving. Glorious. The longer you go without Coke, the more amazing it is.

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Jacob made fun of me for taking pictures of myself, but HELLO how many times do I turn a quarter of a century old? ONCE. And who else does photograph documentation? No one but me. And so who else is supposed to take pictures of me on the day I turn a quarter of a century old? JUST ME.

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I just requested that Ben take care of Adry all day for me for my birthday. No diaper changes, no meal clean-ups, nothin’. Ben did it all. Also glorious.

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That evening a group of us went to the movies to see Avatar in imax 3D. (Mom, Dad, Jacob, Rebecca, Matt, Alexz, Hutch, Jeremy, Tay, Ryan, Ben, and I… which was also strange because we hadn’t been able to ALL go out together at the same time for four years because someone had to be home with Ginny at all times.) Anyway, I LOVED IT! I had been very skeptical, but it blew my mind. I loved the graphics, I loved the world, I loved the animals, I loved the story, I loved the characters. Seriously, you NEED to go see it while it’s at the theaters in 3D, and I do recommend seeing it in imax. It is a MUST DO.

Anyway, after the movie I had a nice time visiting with Matt, Alexz, and Hutch back at my apartment. I had not seen Hutch nor Alexz for several days due to the holidays, visiting family, and trips to Disney, so it was nice to just sit and talk… and eat tortilla chips and cheese… AND get Christmas gifts… AND goodies from Disney. Thanks, girls 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2009

January 4, 2010
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Happy 2010!
Happy 27th Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Happy 5th Anniversary to Me and Ben!

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I am wearing my zipper necklace that cousin Sammie got me for Christmas.

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on our way to my parents’ house

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all bundled up and PASSED OUT!

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Mom, Les, Sandie

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Matt and his awesome mustache

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I wanted to get Matt’s whole outfit in the picture because I thought he looked nice… he is about to kick someone in the head.

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yep. Kicking someone in the head.

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Les, Sandie, Mom, Maurine

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Playing Uno. My family is currently obsessed with that game. Or at least Matt is.

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Jeremy, Tay, Becca

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Before going out to eat we all gathered around the table for a game of Left Right Center. I won 7 or 8 dollars in quarters! WOOHOO! (Jeremy, Tay, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad, Ben, Matt) We also played Bunco.

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Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Mom

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Matt took this one. I was trying to make sure I got a picture of everyone at the table. (Patty, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad)

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Me, Jeremy, Les, Tay

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Matt is still trying to make sure we got a picture of everyone there! (Mom, Maurine, Sandie, Me)

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After games we once again went to the Japanese Steakhouse to bring in the New Year. It was fun! AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YUMMY!

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The anniversary couple

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The other anniversary couple

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Onions! MMM!

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You can take a stab at the kinds of thoughts going through Matt’s head about his noise-maker.

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Pammy, Ryan came!, Tony, Patty, Norm

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with their New Year hats on

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Makin’ NOOOISE! That place got loud. Pammy and Ryan look like they are on a very serious mission to fill the last minutes of 2009 with as much noise as possible.

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VIDEO COMING SOON

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Brother Sister Love

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My favorite part of a Japanese Steakhouse NYE (BESIDES THE FOOD) is this little Japanese man who dresses up and dances around every year.

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VIDEO COMING SOON
And then he got in a brutal sword fight with a patron. BEAT DOWN!

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Ben found this flower for me on a bench outside of the restaurant. OH THE ROMANCE! SWOOON! 😉

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After we brought in the New Year (and ate to our tummies’ content), Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Tay, Jeremy, Ryan, and I went back to our apartment for the first game of 2010: Catch Phrase. I felt super young and hip when I thought I was staying up ’til the wee hours of the first morning of the year, but then I fell asleep on the floor. Anyway, we told stories, we laughed, we told more stories, we made fun of our game-playing ridiculousness, and we laughed some more. Turns out I had a really great night 🙂 Happy 2010!

MISSING VIDEOS:: I can’t read the HTML very well to know where to put these suckers.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Wedding Nostalgia

December 15, 2009
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My FIVE-YEAR wedding anniversary is coming up. December 31st, on New Year’s Eve, Ben and I will have been married for FIVE years. Half of a decade! In light of this I just can’t help but think back on our wedding day.

Man, we were just kids when we were married. I still feel like such a kid five years and a baby later. I was four days shy of twenty years old and Ben had not yet turned twenty-one. I also wasn’t all that interested in weddings; I just wanted to marry Ben as easily as possible and go on with my life– the thought of planning and flowers and dresses and invitations and large crowds and formal wear was not appealing to me.

But I’m my mom’s only daughter, and when I told her that I was engaged she jumped right on the wedding planning. I couldn’t deny her that. DO YOU KNOW MY MOM!? That is SO her thing. She is a function planner- every fiber of her soul screams GIVE ME A FUNCTION TO PLAN! And so she spent an entire year, time sweat & blood, and a bunch of money to put together what I can look back on as one of the best days of my life. I chose the colors and flowers and invitations and dresses yadda yadda yadda, but mom put everything together and thought of every.single.detail. NOTHING went overlooked. (You DO know my mom, right? Everything from napkin folds to dinner serving utensils to the direction of the twists of the flowers on the favors were all uniform and perfect. I do not know how I am her daughter, but I’m sure glad I am.)

So, mom, have I ever sat down and truly thanked you for the most beautiful wedding I could have ever imagined? Everything was perfect, mom. You put so much thought into it- you spent HOURS on wedding invitations, researching the traditional formal way to address wedding envelopes and typing and printing each one on the computer with midnight blue script. You washed and ironed each and every napkin and got Star and Pam’s help to hand-make all of the boutonnieres and bouquets. Most importantly, you made sure to involve everyone we loved. I just want to let you know that I did notice and appreciate all of the things you did.

Anyway, I wore the gorgeous lace wedding dress that Mom wore on her wedding day with a pair of adorable ballet slippers so that my feet wouldn’t get sore. I loved those little slippers. Pammy was incredibly sick from cancer the night of my wedding. She was in the hospital and was unable to see me get married, so as soon as Ben and I left our reception we went straight to OSU hospital so Pam could see me in my wedding dress with the flower bouquet she helped put together. We ran through winter weather hospital parking lot sludge and my wedding slippers got drenched and stained. I’d done a DARN good job choking back my tears the ENTIRE day, but as soon as I saw Pammy in her hospital bed and gave her a big hug they just spilled over. Those stained little slippers tell a story.

I remember riding passenger as Ben drove away from our wedding and feeling so content. Up to that point it was the happiest day of my life and I knew I could forever cherish it as perfect. I was so centered on Ben and the commitment I was making, and appreciating all of our loved ones that came to support us. I’m thankful for the beautiful day my mom orchestrated. I am thankful my heart was in the right place. And I’m thankful for all of the people who came together to love me. I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing.

Behold! Bad quality scans of wedding photos that weren’t that good anyway:

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You absolutely cannot tell in these scans, but that wedding dress is all beautiful lace; the bottom of the dress and the train is just ruffles of lace. Ugh, I wish I had a better picture on this computer! I spent a day wedding dress shopping and couldn’t find a dress I loved as much as my mom’s. I remember looking at my mom’s wedding photos as a teenager and thinking she had such a gorgeous dress and I would love to wear it in my own wedding. I got my wish!

 

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My bridesmaids were Jamie (maid of honor), Mer, Harriet, Ash, and Jessie. Best bridesmaids ever. They were all wonderful. Thanks, girls.

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Ben and I had a winter evening wedding so I chose white, midnight blue, and silver for our colors. Our flowers were white roses, and Christmas lights were still in the trees. I thought everything was so pretty.

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Ruthie White made our wedding cake (pictures below) and they came over the night before to decorate the cake table. Phares was nice enough to do a great job decorating this arch, the one I walked through to go down the aisle.

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Oh! the lace! I want to get married again to wear that dress. Of course I would have to lose fifty pounds.

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Dad walking me down the aisle and giving me away was one of the most sentimental experiences of my life, just behind when we cried together after Adry was born. I am a lucky girl to have such a great dad.

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Hannah was SUCH a cute flower girl.

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The aforementioned cake! www.ruthiescakes.com We didn’t just choose Ruthie because she is a family friend- her cakes are AWESOME as you can see, and they taste great, too. This is her professional job- she is in bridal magazines and bridal shows- and I highly recommend her cakes/desserts for weddings, graduations, birthdays, or any occasion. She is such a sweet lady!

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My mom bought charms for Ruthie to bake in the cake. Each bridesmaid pulled a charm from the cake as a little keepsake. I thought it was a cute idea.

*sigh* Good Memories.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

OSU-Michigan ’09

November 24, 2009
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Michigan Day was kind of a lady’s day over in the Sanders household. Mom, me, Les, Pammy, and Maurine were there. Dad, J, and Becca showed up later. Of course The Bucks won. Duh. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have minded if Michigan won. We were already headed to the Rose Bowl- we didn’t have much to lose- and I think it would have fueled the fire of our rivalry. Not that it needs that much fueling (yet), but still :-P. What, was this our sixth or seventh win in a row? Plus, Michigan is part of the Big Ten, so I always root for them to be a good team. Not that they didn’t play well during the game…. Better season next year, Michigan!

I took a few random pictures before the game started on Saturday. Just wanted to post them here.


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My dad took the following pictures while mom, Les, and I went to see Blind Side. Which I thought was a really cute movie, by the way.
Also, I edited these photos in the dark with a low-batteried dim computer screen and I kind of ruined them. I am mad at myself. Oh well. I still think they’re cute.
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

OSU-Iowa Game!

November 15, 2009
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***Edited. Finally added missing videos.***

I have to sit down and write about my Saturday because I had an awesome day and I want to remember it.

First, Ben’s parents came to my apartment in the morning to pick Adryel up for the day. I can never be too thankful for all of the family members that love him so much. He has 4 grandparents that each adore him, 4 fantastic uncles that get a kick out of him, great aunts and uncles, great grandmas, a boat load of second cousins (No seriously- I’m pretty sure I’d run out of fingers and toes if I tried to count them all) that think he’s a cool kid, honorary grandmas, honorary aunts… the list goes on. He is one stinkin’ loved kid and I am so glad he has that. Anyway- it was super nice of Ben’s parents to watch him all day. As much as I needed a break, my heart sank as soon as he left. I missed him.

Well, my mom, Les, Mer and I went to lunch at Cap City Diner. Yum. Then we stopped by a floral shop to pick up our red roses for the OSU-Iowa game– we were very optimistic and decided to just plan on winning and looking forward to the Big Ten Championship and heading to the Rose Bowl. Mer and I would have stuffed our roses in a bag until the end of the game, but my purse is basically a pocket wallet with a strap, so I carried it around. One guy said, “Optimism! That’s what I like to see!” but then other people, such as Hawkeye (Iowa) fans, flashed me disapproving looks and said, “Um, she has a rose. Whatever.” You know what? Whatever YOU, Hawkeyes! I smell Roses!

 

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Les and Mom walking to the stadium

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Les and Mer on the bus

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Crossing the bridge to the stadium

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Buckeyes on a Bridge

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Mer lookin’ all cute, hangin’ out before the game

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Les and Mom <3

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Momma n’ Me

I Introduce to you our EPIC Brutus The Buckeye FAIL. you have to watch Brutus in this video clip- he literally hangs his head. I am proud to say that I made BRUTUS THE BUCKEYE HANG HIS HEAD!

 

Oh, the shame! Or lack thereof.

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Video Clip: Walking through the tunnel to go to the stadium. Gettin’ Pumped Up!

 

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The Horseshoe!

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Sea of Buckeyes Heading to The Shoe

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Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) is the fourth largest stadium in the nation and has made numerous records for home attendance. (See below: Buckeye fans ROCK.) Also, The Ohio State Buckeyes website says that The Shoe is 80 years old, is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, and that “anyone who has seen a game in the giant horseshoe understands why. There are few experiences in athletics that are more enjoyable!” It’s true. I LOVE our stadium.

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Band Members and Fans in the Stadium

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Once I got to the top I looked out over the crowd below.

(Oh, at the game they announced that Buckeye football fans were ranked number one in the nation for Best College Football Fan Base. You know why? We are awesome. And being a Buckeye is so much more than rooting for a football team; it’s about loyalty and community and pride in our city. That’s why I love it so much.)

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Me and My Optimism

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The Ohio State Marching Band is one of the only marching bands made up of all brass and percussion, and the largest in the world… which of course makes us “The Best D**n Band In The Land”. They are classy and military-esque and I love them as much as I love the football game.

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United States

Video Clip: Hang On Sloopy!

 

Video Clip: The Beginning of Script Ohio!!!

 

Video Clip: The Awesome Tradition, The Dotting of the ‘i’!

 

Video Clip: American Flag. They make it wave, too!

 

And the actual football game was AWESOME!!! I mean, completely awesome. I may have wrung my hands raw and bit all of my nails off, but I had a really great time. This game was really important because it determined who would be the Big Ten Champ and head to the Rose Bowl. We won by a field goal in overtime. Close games like that are so nerve-wracking, but SO fun. I don’t remember winning in overtime since the National Championship in 2003. Anyway, not only was it edge-of-my-seat entertaining, but the weather was just gorgeous! It absolutely could not have been a more perfect football day.

Video Clip: Rushing The Field After The Win

 

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Field Rush

Mer and I decided to make our way down to the field to join in the celebration.
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OK, um… I was about to make an “O” with my arms while mouthing “O”, but…
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instead it just looks like I am singing into my rose. Good one, Jess.

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THIS GUY IS READY FOR THE ROSE BOWL!!!

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Headin’ out of the stadium and back to the car…
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The bridge was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with Buckeyes. It was a cool sight in real life, but obviously low light digital camera picture did not capture the coolness.

After the game we wrapped up our celebration at BW3s. Then I came home to this:
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and my night was perfect.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal