Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jamie's To Do List

Jamie here....

I'm currently working on backing up my computer and going through files to see if I need them. I stumbled upon a Word document titled "things to do.doc". I opened to find the following list:

Things to buy
Bigger bookshelf

This list was from 1/7/06...unfortunately I've only accomplished one of the two items. Well, I guess I did marry into a bigger bookshelf and I get extra credit for marrying into a second house too. Maybe I can count it as 80% complete...

that is all..


Continuing Education

So, as a pharmacist, I have to complete 15 hours of CE (continuing education) per year in both the state of Illinois and Iowa in order to keep my license active. It is unfortunate that for the last two years now I have waited until December to complete at least half of my CE's for the year. Last year, as people were coming over to my house on New Year's Eve I was finishing up that last CE at about 10:00pm, just to make sure the date on the form said 12/31/07 and not 1/1/08. Once again this year, I have waited until December 29th to do my last 7 hours of CE. Luckily I had a 5 hour car ride (and a generous husband who doesn't mind driving the whole way) to do a 3 hour CE and today had a half day off in order to complete the rest. Now I'm just suffering through technical difficulties of not being able to submit my quiz on a particular website. I'm hoping that later this evening or by tomorrow they will have their "ERROR" figured out so my date stamped can once again say 12/31/08. I have 1.5 hours remaining and am confident that I can complete the hours before midnight tomorrow night, New Year's Eve!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

For Thanksgiving this year, my family was traveling to Ohio to be with my mom's relatives and celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. I had to work the day before and the day after Thanksgiving so Jamie and I couldn't travel to Ohio and we had his family come to our house for dinner. Luckily Jamie's brother, Aaron, and Jamie cooked Thanksgiving dinner the last two years so they were experts at preparing the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. All I was responsible for was making my family's normal dishes: Sweet Potato casserole and BBQ Green Beans. I also made a Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle that was pretty tasty. Jamie and Aaron also made a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie and Jamie's mom made their famous asparagus casserole.The one unfortunate event of the day was the dressing/stuffing. Jamie tried a new recipe that called for 6 cups of chicken stock (which in hindsight is way too much) and the stuffing ended up being a very soupy mess. It baked for over an hour and still couldn't absorb all of is liquid. It was a Thanksgiving disaster (for Jamie, not me, I don't even like stuffing). But did you know that it's stuffing when it's in the bird and dressing when it's not in the bird? So I guess this was actually dressing because it was baked in a pan in the oven. One of the good things about Thanksgiving was the Turkey. Jamie and Aaron soaked it in a salty brine overnight to make sure it turned out very juicy. I'm not normally a big fan of turkey, but I have to admit this was pretty good.
I bought new fall cloth napkins to use on Thanksgiving, which I thought added a nice little touch to the table. We also got to use our china for the 2nd time which I was very excited about because I love my china (Jamie was also happy to see it put to use...)

The goal was to eat around noon but the turkey took a little longer than usual to cook and then the casseroles had to go in the oven and they took a little longer than expected so we didn't end up eating until about 2:00. For me and my family that would have been our estimated eating time, but I guess the Murray clan likes to eat a meal closer to the noon hour. Luckily we had some delicious veggies and dip courtesy of Aunt Peg to munch on while the turkey was cooking and we watched the National Dog Show and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Jamie was the official turkey carver of Thanksgiving Day 2008 and he did a great job (we even had some antique turkey carving knives from a great grand relative of Jamie's to do the job).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apple Picking Part 1

The day of the 5k, Jamie and I went apple picking with our friends Manda and Bryan. We had planned to drive up to this apple orchard in Fort Dodge, Iowa that had a cafe to eat lunch, a corn maze, and apple picking. We drove for an hour and 45 minutes and ate lunch at the cafe there. We were definitely the youngest looking group of people there. After we ate, we walked around the shop for a few minutes and looked for signs for the apple picking and the corn maze. When we couldn't find any, Jamie and Bryan finally asked the lady who worked there where those things were. She gave them a surprised look and said they didn't have either of those and asked where we got our information. They had apples that THEY had picked and you could buy and no corn maze. We obviously got our information wrong somewhere along the way.

Disappointed and confused we walked back to the car to look at our map and info sheet and lo and behold, no corn maze or you pick your own apples at this orchard. =( So we proceeded to find another orchard (since we weren't going to let this ruin our afternoon!) that had both. We ended up at Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge, Iowa. It was a surprisingly warm day so we bought something to drink as well as the other thing I was looking forward to....apple cider donuts. If you've never had them before (like Manda and Bryan) you must try them sometime. These weren't the best apple cider donuts I've ever had, but they weren't bad. The best kind is warm and straight from the oven (or fryer?).

We decided to have ourselves a friendly competition of guys vs. girls. The first task was an apple slingshot. Now the rules were a little sketchy but I believe I (Rachel) won with the only apple actually hitting the target. Second task was completing the corn maze quickest. Manda and I raced against Jamie and Bryan and as you can see ended up at a few dead ends. But ultimately we completed the maze first (unless you ask the boys...). It was a bit confusing as there were two places to exit the maze but we think the entrance and the exit were actually one in the same. So girls 2, guys 0.

We took a hayride back to the entrance of the orchard so we could buy some apple picking bags and then headed to the apple trees. Here we are posing as American Gothic with one of the apple picking devices. Jamie and Bryan definitely enjoyed the apple pickers...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Capital Pursuit 5K

So I know I mentioned I was going to be running a 5K in September so I wanted to let you know how it went.

I finished!! And I ran the whole thing except for 1 minute at the beginning of the 3rd mile and another minute in the middle of the 3rd mile. My time was about 35:30 which isn't great but now I have something to improve upon in the future. My friend Manda ran the 5K with me and Bryan ran the 10 mile run. Jamie was our cheerleader and held our jackets for us. And I got my medal for finishing!

New York City continued

As promised here is the rest of the dish from our trip to NYC....

After the Sex and the City tour on Sunday we met Jamie at the HBO store. He had spent the morning walking around the area shooting some photos of the sights.

We walked around and made a stop at Tiffany & Co. to look at the beautiful jewelry...where's your ring Mandy?

We were near Central Park so decided to walk through the park and go to the Museum of Modern Art before it closed at 5:30.

I really liked Central Park and if I lived in the city I would go there all the time to read, relax, and do some people watching. We walked through the park and got to MOMA only to find out that they close at 5:00 not 5:30...and of course it was 4:45. So we ran in and pretty much the only thing we got to see was part of the Egyptian exhibit (which according what we read and were told was one of the things we should see if we went there).

Sunday evening, Mandy's friend Dara had planned for us to have a nice dinner at Pastis, a restaurant from Sex and the City where Carrie goes on several occasions (we had also seen it on our tour earlier in the day). It was a surprise to Mandy and she desperately wanted to know our secret dinner plans but we sealed our lips until we got there. After dinner, we went to the Empire State Building and did the last thing she wanted to do on her birthday....the SkyRide! We thought it would be something like Star Tours at Disney World but unfortunately it was probably the disappointment of the weekend. Luckily the $30 ticket was included in the New York pass that we bought, but if it wasn't and we had paid full price for it...we probably would've wanted our money back. Let's just say, lame.
After the SkyRide we went to get our tickets to go up to the top of the Empire State Building. We were waiting in line but realized that with our New York pass we didn't have to wait in line, so we asked someone who worked there about that and he said to go here in this part of the line, in front of some other people. Well this one guy was not going to have our "cutting in line" even though we were told to do so. He was a real jerk about it but we got over it when we got to the top. It was pretty cool to see all of the city lights at night from so far up. You have to think of Sleepless in Seattle when you're up there....
After about 20 or 30 minutes we headed back down and walked back to our hotel room for the night.

Monday was spent at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We took the subway downtown and once again with our great New York passes, we were able to bypass the long line to get tickets by going to the little library and pick them up there. We still had to wait in the security line to get on the ferry, but it wasn't longer than a 15 minute wait. We went over to the Statue of Liberty, walked around there for awhile and ate some lunch. Then we took the ferry over to Ellis Island and saw where all of our relatives came in from other countries many years ago. I thought Ellis Island was really interesting and probably could have spent a couple more hours there reading the displays and learning more about what it was like for people to immigrate to America.

Monday night for dinner we went to Lombardi's to get some real New York pizza. Now we've all experienced a good Chicago deep dish pizza so we knew New York pizza would be different. It's a thinner and crispier slice but still yummy pizza. Lombardi's is one of the first pizzerias in the country and still owned by the family who started it. It's actually in the 1,000 Places to See in the U.S./Canada Before You Die book (one more to check off the list).

Tuesday was our last day in New York and we still wanted to go to Chinatown, Canal Street, and Little Italy. Here is Jamie in front of a Sbarro, getting a "real New York slice" in the words of Michael Scott from the show The Office. We walked along Canal Street and were stopped by many a street vendor showing off their wares. We ate lunch in Chinatown and the food was very good. We walked along the streets taking in all the sights. And our last stop....gelato in Little Italy....mmm. Good bye New York we will miss you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New York City

For my sister Mandy's 24th birthday, we decided to take a trip to New York City to celebrate. We had been talking about going for quite awhile and it seemed like now was a good opportunity to go. We were looking all over the internet for flight and hotel deals and finally found a somewhat reasonable hotel in Times Square called the Millenium Broadway. We were concerned that we weren't going to have two double beds but luckily when Mom and Mandy checked in they were able to give us two beds. They flew in on Friday morning and spent the day checking out NYU and then seeing a Broadway show that night. Jamie and I flew in on Saturday morning and met them at our hotel. We ended up having lunch at a little Italian place near our hotel and then went to stand in line at TKTS to buy tickets to a Broadway show. We couldn't decide which show to see but ended up picking Mary Poppins that evening.We walked around Rockefeller Center that afternoon and also did the NBC Studio Tour which was included on our New York Pass (a pass that we bought that gets you into a bunch of New York's biggest attractions for free and discounted rates). The NBC Studio Tour was really interesting and it was cool to see where they shoot the Conan O'Brien Show, The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and some of the other NBC shows. After the tour we headed back to our hotel to get ready to see Mary Poppins. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and then headed over to the theater, only to find out we couldn't bring our drinks in with us. We saw Mary Poppins and honestly it wasn't the best show we had ever seen. It wasn't stand up in your seats get excited Broadway show and the story dragged a little, especially at first. But it was still a fun experience to see a show on Broadway.

The next day was Mandy's birthday and her bf Matt send her a fruit bowl to our room for her birthday. After we got ready the girls went over to meet near Central Park for the Sex and the City Tour which was the one thing Mandy wanted to do while we were in New York City. We toured the city to see SATC hotspots from the tv show as well as the movie.
To be continued....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So I was recently inspired to start running. I was at the gym reading an article about a lady who had never really been a runner and decided to train for a half marathon. Now I'm no runner either, but figured if she could do it, so could I. I've already been walking/running some this summer and made it up to a mile on the treadmill at the gym. So I decided to sign up for this 5k here in Des Moines at the end of September. It's the Capital Pursuit 10 mile and 5k Road Races. No I'm not going to run 10 miles, but I am going to attempt to run 5 kilometers. I went out to run at Gray's Lake last week the day after I registered and running didn't go quite as I anticipated. I had drank too much coffee beforehand and not enough water and was feeling shaky and a little dehydrated. So I'm hoping that my lack of quality running time was affected by that and will be better next time. The race is one month from tomorrow and I'm a little nervous about it but am hoping to run as much of it as I can. I know I can finish but my goal is to run the majority of it. And the best part of it all? A medal at the end. =)

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Did anyone else hear that Starbuck's is apparently closing like 600 of their stores nationwide? Now I don't know about anyone else but what sad news. Where am I going to find my grande, nonfat, no water, 5-pump Chai Latte wherever I travel in the U.S. now? Luckily only one in the Des Moines area that I don't think I've even been to yet is closing. My frequent ones will remain open and will continue to serve me the best chai in all the land. Here's apparently a list of all the stores that are closing by the end of the year. http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?id=882

Hopefully your Starbucks near you won't be closing and you can still enjoy your favorite hot or cold $4.00 beverage.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A new job!

So I figured I should share with the world that I got a new job! I suppose it's about time after not working for about 3 1/2 months. It sure was a nice break from the world of pharmacy for a short time. I'm going to be working at Medicap Pharmacy which is in Carlisle, about 20 minutes south of Des Moines. It's an older community serving mostly elderly patients with about 90% of the prescriptions coming from the local clinic in town. It should be a nice position because I'll be working Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-6 and every other Saturday from 9-1:30. For a pharmacy job, those are pretty good hours. We're closed Sundays and holidays which is great so I can actually attend a church on a regular basis and be with family on holidays. And I'll still have a couple days off during the week to do fun things (like scrapbooking and working out) and not so fun things (like doing laundry and cleaning). I at least feel like now I can spend money without worrying if we'll have enough. It's also good that I have a job because we still own two houses....anyone looking to buy a townhouse in Aurora? Let me know. We're going on 9 months now that it's been on the market, so I'm very ready to be a one-home family hopefully soon.

4th of July

For the 4th of July this year, we were invited down to Springfield, IL where some of my (Rachel's) family friends live. Colin's friend Dan and his family live on Lake Springfield and always have a big party every year with friends and family from Springfield and the Chicago area.

We drove to Springfield on Friday and met my mom and sis at the hotel where we were staying. After we all met up there, we headed over to the Short's house and got to meet my brother's girlfriend, Amanda, for the first time. They and a bunch of the other college kids had been there since the night before. That night was the 4th and so we headed to the lake's point to watch the fireworks which were a mediocre display at best. I'm not a huge fan of fireworks to begin with...I think they're pretty overrated. But it was fun to be there with my family.

On Saturday, we got up and thank goodness, there was a Starbuck's right down from our hotel. So we stopped there on our way to the Short's house. We spent the afternoon jet skiing and tubing on the boat and eating and hanging out. The weather couldn't have been better.

Joe and Colin on the boat

Saturday evening was the big party. There were over 100 people there and Jamie's favorite part of the evening...a DJ. I even duped him into dancing at the end of the evening because the song "The Last Dance" came on which starts off slow and then speeds up in the middle of the song. He loved me for that. =)

My sister Mandy, and her bf Matt

My brother Colin and his new gf Amanda

On Sunday we went back over to do some more jet skiing and tubing. I really wanted to go water skiing because I haven't done that in years but the lake was too choppy. Jamie had never jet skiied before and discovered he really liked it. In fact, on our drive home back to Des Moines that evening he talked about wanting to buy a jet ski and asked me how much I thought they cost?? (If you're wondering, they range in price from $4000-12,000) We won't be buying a jet ski anytime soon-there really aren't many great bodies of water here in the great state of Iowa.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hy-Vee Triathlon

At the end of June, my (Rachel's) family came to Des Moines for a visit and for Colin to participate in the 2nd annual Hy-Vee Triathlon. This has become a huge event in the world of triathlons in only a year. They give out the largest purse prize of any triathlon in the U.S.-and all here in little Des Moines, Iowa. Colin participated last year and took first in his age group (15-19), around 40th overall.

This year the Hy-Vee Triathlon had a little bit of drama associated with it-as you know the city of Des Moines was underwater for a good part of June. The original race was scheduled to take place starting at Gray's Lake, biking out to West Des Moines, and then heading back in to downtown for the run. Well Gray's Lake was underwater (or well had a lot more water in it...) and they had to make a decision about what to do. They went back and forth from making it a dri-tri (run-bike-run) to moving it out to West Des Moines and then finally deciding that there was a lake they could use and it was safe to swim in out in West Des Moines. We were all very excited that it was going to be a REAL Triathlon.

We all got up at 4am to get ready and head out to the triathlon. I haven't seen 4am in a very long time (maybe since last year's triathlon...) Colin took the athlete's shuttle from Valley West Mall and we took a shuttle from the Jordan Creek Mall out to the race site. Because they moved the tri, they had to change things up a little bit. Last year, the athletes swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area), biked, came back to the Transition area and headed out for the run, finishing at the capital in downtown. This year, they swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area 1, T1), biked to a new location and transitioned at Transition area 2, T2, went out for the run and came back to T2 which was also the finish line. Our shuttle only took us to T2/finish but we wanted to see Colin start and do the swim and get on his bike, so we walked the 2 mile hike over to T1 in order to see him start. We made it just in the knick of time. He was about 7th coming out of the swim....and then we made the 2 mile walk back to T2.

After our walk, we all split up to get some different camera shots and to be able to cheer him on from different locations. Jamie and I took the spot as he transitioned from the bike to the run and he was about 6th at that point, still looking strong. We knew we had about a half hour before he came back from his run so we walked around and picked up some SWAG (stuff we all get-reference from The Office) from all of the different vendors. He was aiming for a total time of under 2 hours so we staked out our place to sit at the 2 hour mark.

Colin ended up doing awesome with a time of 2:03:40! He came in 13th overall and 6th in his age group (20-24). He started getting a cramp near the beginning of the run which slowed him down a bit but in the middle of it poured some water over his head and felt revived.

We stayed later in the day for the elite race which was the professional triathletes, some of whom were vying for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team. It was a great race but it came down to Hunter Kemper winning the final spot (he's a pretty great triathlete-also a Christian).

Overall it was a great day and who knows maybe someday we'll see Colin trying to get the last spot on the Olympic team... :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I just wanted to share my flickr site.

I'm attempting to get more into photography and I welcome any criticism you want to throw at me.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Flood of '08 continued

Rachel and I just wanted to give you a quick update on the flooding in Des Moines. Well to be brief, our house is surrounded by about 4 feet of water and both of our cars have floated away...

Just kidding. We're completely unaffected by the flooding. We have had a little bit more water in our basement, but it's nothing too really complain about. There are definitely people who are far worse off than we are.

It's actually been really interesting to see how the national news has covered the flooding. CNN.com had "Des Moines Being Evacuated" or something like that as the lead story. So far they've only issued a mandatory evacuation order for a small neighborhood and they had issued a voluntary evacuation for downtown. The downtown evacuation wasn't exactly urgent, as they issued it around noon and Wellmark decided to let us out at 4:30. I'm sure some of the stories have led people to think the whole city is in trouble, but really it's pretty isolated. There are certainly places that are devastated, like Cedar Rapids and parts of Iowa City.

Anyway, I just wanted people to know where fine.

Pray for good weather!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Flood of '08

So, Thursday night around 11:00pm it started pouring rain outside. Jamie and I were getting ready to go to bed and he asked me to go downstairs to check the basement and make sure there wasn't any water down there. As I descend the basement stairs, I hear a sound that reminds me of a small river flowing through the woods. But instead of being in the woods, it's in my basement. Water is currently flowing out of the southeast wall and headed towards the hot water heater, washer and dryer and other numerous things that are sitting on our basement floor. "Jamie! Jamie!" I yell but he doesn't hear me so I run upstairs and find him coming in from the outside. "We have a problem, there's water in the basement!" We go downstairs and get to work to try to stop the water.

Jamie had bought a Shop-vac when he put in the wood floors in the upstairs of our house. There was still some sawdust in there but we already had sucked up some of the water so it made a pastey sawdust mess when we tried dumping it out. Eventually, we got all of the sawdust out and got to work shop-vacing the basement floor. At one point I pulled out my beach chair and was sitting in that with my capris hiked up sucking up water. What a sight. Meanwhile, Jamie was trying to build a dam to try to encourage the water to go right instead of left towards the drain in the floor. He also emptied the water in my Shop-vac fairly frequently since it only held about 3 gallons of water. And then he started sweeping water towards the drain (that was after I fell on a bike and some bed frames and stubbed my toe and landed on my leg leaving me with giant bruise and after the Shop-vac hose hit Jamie in the face). At about 12:30am the drain decided it had enough and stopped up. So we plunged it and fixed it. Then about 1am Jamie went outside in the pouring rain to clean out the gutters to help prevent some of the water from falling and sitting near the house. At about 2am the rain finally slowed down and we gave up because we realized we could stay up all night Shop-vacing and sweeping water. So we showered and went to bed. The rain kicked our butts that night.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


So I haven't been camping very much. My family's idea of vacation was flying someplace, usually warm, and staying in a nice hotel with points my dad earned in his business travels. Camping wasn't something we normally did. I was an Indian Princess however. Indian Princesses was a group I was in with my dad from 1st-3rd grades. We got together every month with the other dads and daughters and wore our Indian (or is it Native American??) headpieces and vests and discussed our upcoming meetings, events, and campouts. We were the Sioux tribe and I honestly made my first friends through Indian Princesses-my family is still friends with some of the original group. Anyhow, every year we always had a fall, winter, and spring campout. The winter camping trip we did stay indoors but the fall and spring ones were spent in tents. These were my original memories of camping with my dad. For one of our first fall campouts, we had to decorate a pumpkin for the pumpkin contest. We knew this ahead of time and brought a bunch of vegetables and things from home to decorate our tribe's pumpkin. Little did we know that we were supposed to have gathered our decorations from the woods where we were camping (is that how the Indians do it?)...so we got disqualified that year. But the next year I think we won first place, partially thanks to my dad's great pumpkin carving/decorating skills. He always loved Halloween.

So this brings me to my first camping (?) trip as a married woman. We were to go camping this past Friday night with some of our friends here in Des Moines-the McGargills, Aaron (Jamie's brother), Justin, and Mike. The forecast all week was iffy-was it going to rain or wasn't it? Well we debated all day about if we should go or not but it looked like the rain was going to hold off til Saturday or Sunday. Right before we were about to leave, the McGargills called and said they weren't going to spend the night (being that Jill is 7 months pregnant and wasn't loving the idea of sleeping in a potentially wet tent all night...understandable). We still decided to head out to Jamie's parents house (where we would be camping) and at least build a fire, eat dinner, roast some marshmallows and decide a little later if we would spend the night. Once we got there, we realized that mine and Jamie's bag of clothes to sleep in hadn't made it in the car so I was definitely not sleeping in a tent without my fleece pants and sweatshirt. Shockingly, even though the weather has been nice (in the 70's and sunny for the most part) for the last several weeks, mother nature decided to give us some frigid temperatures and rain the weekend we wanted to camp. I'm cold blooded and wasn't about to camp without warm clothes. So at that point it was decided to head back to Des Moines that evening. We made hobos (combination of meat, potatoes, veggies, and gravy in aluminum foil) for dinner, courtesy of Joe and Jill, made S'mores and lit things on fire during the course of the evening. Now I know what goes on during the guy's camping portion of Labor Day each year....no more lighter fluid.

At around 11, we were all ready to head back home and get a good night sleep in our own beds. But we had to get the fire to go out first. So we're pouring whatever liquid we have left on the hot coals in the fire pit-including egg yolks, ice from the cooler, and the finale-urine. I luckily wasn't involved in that part. We made it back to Des Moines at around 12:30 that night and had a wonderful night sleep in our own beds.

The best part of the night was the massive thunderstorm that swept through central Iowa at about 3am. I was glad I wasn't in a tent that night. And I'll never trust the weathermen again.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


So I (Rachel) decided to catch up with the rest of America and start watching Lost. I always figured it would be a show I might like to watch but I always had schedule conflicts and then never got into it. But now that I'm married and my husband watches it, I felt like I should try and catch up so we can talk about it together. Plus since I'm not currently employed, I have some free time to able to do just that. I started watching Season 1 last year and only got through a couple episodes so last week I started where I left off. I borrowed it from my brother-in-law, Aaron, and love it! I finished Season 1 in less than a week (all 25+ episodes!) and tonight finished Season 2 disc 1. They definitely do a great job of leaving you hanging, keeping you in suspense, and playing to your emotions all at the same time. I've shed a few tears (when Michael, Sawyer, Jin, and Wyatt leave on the raft, when we find out that Rose's husband, Bernard, is still alive) and also jumped at some of those scenes when they're running from strange, wild animals, and the mysterious "others." Jamie is also enjoying watching old episodes with me in the evenings and loving that I'm enjoying them so much too. Hopefully I'll finish these next three seasons before they start up again in the fall... :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

We Got Married!!

This is our first blog entry as a married couple! Jamie and I got married in Naperville, Illinois on March 29, 2008. The ceremony was held at Grace United Methodist Church and the reception was at White Eagle Golf Club, both in Naperville. We were very happy that so many of our family and friends were able be with us on our special day. We were especially thankful for the people who traveled from afar to be able to celebrate with us.

The day started off early for the girls who got their hair and makeup done at my mom's house in Aurora. It was great to have everyone get ready together that morning. On the way, a few of us made a stop at Starbucks to get my last chai tea as a single woman. We arrived at the church in plenty of time to get dressed, get makeup touched up, and take some formal photographs. The guys enjoyed a relaxed morning too, being able to sleep in and meet at the church around 1:15. The ceremony started at 3:00 and it was great to finally see Jamie when I walked down the aisle with my brother, Colin. We joked earlier in the week that it was going to be the Colin Show because he had so many jobs during the ceremony-candle lighter, ushering in my mom, groomsmen, aisle runner un-roller, and giving me away. I was glad that he was such a big part of my wedding day.

After the ceremony, Jamie and I went around the block in the Naperville trolley and then came back to take some pictures with our families and bridal party. Then we all took off for the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville to take some outside pictures. Our bridal party was a great sport because the air was a little chilly. Of course the guys were gentlemanly and gave up their coats to the girls who were wearing strapless dresses and they in turn gave their shawls to the guys who used them as capes and headpieces. :)

After taking pictures outside, we made a quick stop at Starbucks and got a chai tea. We then spent some time cruising around Naperville before heading over to White Eagle for the reception. It was great to spend some time with family and friends who we don't get to see very often. The night was a blast and we think our guests had a good time too!