A Wedding Toast

Congrats Brian and Kelley! What a great wedding/party. EVERYONE had tons of fun, from the golf carts to watching you striptease for Kelley on the dance floor… Love it!

The Best man speech I gave at my buddy Brian’s wedding yesterday:

Ladies and gentlemen. It takes a strong and intelligent man to realize his dreams and achieve his goals in life and love. A man not afraid to live life to its fullest and embrace what is truly important. But enough about me… I’m here to talk about Brian and Kelley.

I’ve known Brian most of my life. We lived just a few miles apart. That might sound like a lot, but in Marion it’s really only like 3 houses. Later we were college roommates so naturally I know a lot about Brian, most of which is not appropriate for this type of setting so I’ll try to keep it clean.

Once Brian had a car Jeff and I never left his side. Mostly because we needed a ride. The first time we went out, we made it maybe a mile down the street, when the hood flys up like that scene in Tommy Boy and all I can hear is Brian yelling “That’s not good! That’s not good!” No Brian, it wasn’t. I could go on and on about Brian’s automobile misshaps and hijinks:

Like the multiple times he left his beat up Chevy S10 in the CarShow parking lot with the hood popped like some show car while he put in an 8hr shift at Burger King.

Or the time he was driving down a country road in that same S10 and a deer hit HIM.

Or the time he decided it was a good idea to drive THROUGH a construction zone with potholes FEET deep & his headlights off so as not to arouse suspicion. Probably one of the scariest moments in my life..

Or the time I had to take over driving on my first day with a drivers-license because Brian had been pulled over for speeding (again) and was too nervous to drive any further.

Or the time he told me he didn’t want to buy a sporty car like the Subaru STI because he didn’t need to go fast, he wanted luxury, so he went out and bought BMW’s ROADSTER.

But I’m not going to talk about any of that, because I’m supposed to tell you about what a great guy Brian is and tell you about all his magnificent qualities. Brian is Dedicated, Kind, Funny and… what’s this one? … Sorry man, I never could read your writing.

Brian is one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet, and he has no shame, literally… I don’t know any other guy that is excited to get cat calls while dressed up as Britney spears, wearing his sister’s skirt and a wig walking down Monroe ave.

He’s up for anything, which is exactly how he got so lucky with Kelley. Kelley, I don’t think forcing him to ride the bull for 8 seconds before he’s allowed to talk to you was ever going to stop him. One time he took his pants off in the middle of a bar and traded them with a girl wearing a skirt just so she’d ride the bull.

Brian, Some of us still don’t know how you did it, but you’re a lucky guy and somehow you tricked Kelley into marrying you. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, warm, loving and caring, and she deserves a good husband. Thank God you married her before she found one.

Kelley, it’s funny how history repeats itself isn’t it? 20 some years ago your Mother and Father were putting you to bed with a dummy…and now it’s happening all over again

All kidding aside though, I’m Ecstatic for you guys. I want to thank you both for having me be part of your special day. I know Brian couldn’t be happier, I see it in his face every time he looks at Kelley.

So if everyone could raise their glasses in a toast… To Brian and Kelley,

May you have love, health & wealth; but most importantly, may you have the time together to enjoy them all.

The Cuomos – Mike & Mary Beth

Mike and Mary Beth CuomoSaturday Mary Beth became a Cuomo.  It was an exciting day for everyone!  Mike and Mary Beth really make a beautiful couple don’t you think?

I ran 3rd string Photographer, after clearing it with them & the hired photographer first, just to get some practice in.  There’s still a lot I didn’t do, but I must say I’m becoming quite comfortable with my equipment and the whole process.

I shot almost 1,400 photos on Saturday and it was my first time shooting an entire day in RAW.  Wow! I finally filled up my memory card… (16gb), I need to get some extras.  Because it was my first time shooting in RAW, it’s taking me a lot longer than usual to process the photos. I didn’t even have any software to do it before yesterday!  Now I’m all setup with Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Adobe CS4 Bridge and holy cow these things are powerhouses!

I’ll be throwing together a slide-show soon, but since I’m not sure how long it’s going to take I wanted to post this last picture of the night.

Congratulations Mike & Mary Beth!

Maid of Honor Speech

I gave at my best friend Lisa Jordan’s wedding last month. This was my first time giving a speech in front of a crowd and I was a little nervous. But Lisa was so awesome giving hers at my wedding I had to step up to the challenge. It went a little something like this.

Good Evening!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name Rachel, best friend and Maid of Honor to our gorgeous Bride. I was honored when Lisa asked me to stand by her side today as she marries Bill. Realizing I would be giving a toast I remembered my wedding day and how Lisa prepared a speech. Well Lis now it my turn.

Lisa has been my friend for close to 20 years now. Neither of us can remember the exact day we met but it was sometime during the third grade.    Somewhere between girl scouts and french class we became best friends and we’ve been inseparable since.

Lisa is the sister I never had. No matter what happens in life I can turn to her for support and understand, for an open ear or a shoulder to cry on. For someone to make me laugh till I cry and to be strong when I cant find the strength. She’ll always be there for me and  I couldn’t ask for anything more in a friend.

We’ve had lots of good times and memories together. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were spending whole weekends at each other’s houses, staying up all night, watching Monty python and bad infomercials.        Oh! by the way, the eggwave does not make the perfect omelet!

Shes always there to get me out of a sticky situations, like cleaning hair die off the bathroom ceiling.

When Lisa got her first car we would just drive around town stopping only for the occasional Chinese fire drill and to see the reaction of car next to us. After that it was endless pots of coffee at Jays diner and late night trips to wegmans for peach Snapple and Cherry Garcia.

Lisa is a very dedicated friend, Every time my parents went out of town she was   right by my side helping me plan the party. and again the next day hiding the evidence. If I ever got in trouble she was always there to bail me out. We truly were partners in crime.

I have to say, I always thought that it might be difficult for her to find a man who could live up to her standards. Then came Bill, and he definitely lives up to them – or, maybe she got rid of her standards.

I’m not sure which.

I thought about some advice that I’d like to give Bill. A few words of wisdom about being married to my best friend.

rule number 1: Lisa is always right
rule number 2: in the event she is wrong, see rules number 1

If you’re clever, you’ll  have the last word. However, if you are smart, you won’t use it.

And, Bill, always remember…a happy wife, makes for a happy life so just sit back and keep your mouth shut and you’ll do just fine.

On my wedding day Lisa had me put out my hand (Lisa will you please but out your hand) she then had my husband lay his on top of mine. She explained how this was the last time he would ever have the upper hand.

Well I’m sorry Bill, but i think we both know you never had the upper hand.

In all seriousness, I couldn’t be happier for the two of you.

I see all the love and joy you share in your life and I  know its meant to last . When two people love each other as much Lisa and Bill do, only something beautiful can come of it. Just look at their daughter Hailey.

Separately, you are two special, remarkable people, but together you are complete.

So if everyone will please raise your glass and join me in a toast.

To Lisa and Bill:

May your love grow stronger as you share your lives together and may your future be even more wonderful than you ever dreamed possible.

Planning our 3 week Hiatus

Rachel’s Brother George lives in Portland Oregon and he’s getting married in July (the 11th to be exact).  Since we’ll be trekking all the way across the country for the big event we’re planning on making a vacation of it.  We’ll be staying in the Pacific Northwest for 3 weeks.  The rough itinerary is Portland for about a week, Glacier National Park for about a week, Seattle for a few days and then back to Portland to fly home. Beyond that we have no idea.

We’re trying to plan as little as possible and just wing it but we’ve put together a tentative map of the route we might take and the places we want to see.

2009-trip-planView Larger Map

We don’t want to plan our trip but we do want ideas.  We’ve never been to the west coast or the pacific northwest and we need to know the cool stuff to do or see.  If you have been to this part of the country, please let us know what places you enjoyed (and those you didn’t) so we can add it to our list!

A Wedding and a Party

My best friend Anthony’s wedding was this weekend and I had the honor of being best man.  One of the biggest (or at least the most stressful) responsibilities of the best man is the toast.  I’ve never had to speak in front of that many people before but I think it went over relatively well.

My Speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, if there’s anybody here this afternoon who’s feeling nervous, apprehensive and queasy at the thought of what lies ahead, it’s probably because you just got married to Anthony Ventura.

When I sat down to write this thing I had no clue where to start.

Some people tell jokes, but I’m not that funny.
Some people write a poem, but I can’t rhyme.
Some people give advice, but I’ve only been married a year so the only advice I have is to shut up and let her do the talking.

Since I can’t do any of those the best thing I came up with is to tell everyone how I got to know the lovely new Mr & Mrs Ventura.  The only problem is, I’ve known Anthony for so damn long I have no idea how we met.  What I can tell you is a few things that he’s taught me over the years.

I’ve learned that the Ventura’s really know how to raise a son, but I have no idea how they deal with both of them. (Harriet you’re a saint)
I’ve learned that Rollerblading down giant hills can lead to war scars the size of your fist.
I’ve learned that Mascara really does look horrible on a guy (Ask me later, I have pictures).
I’ve learned that transformers and Lego’s are fun to play with at any age, wait no not really.
I’ve learned how good friends stand the test of time.
And I’ve learned that a list like this can go on for days so we’ll just stop here.

The really awesome part of having a friend like Anthony is that every time we see each other, even if its after months or years apart, it’s back to the same old shenanigans, drinking past 2am and befriending trashcans (or toilets).  He’s always only a phone call away any time you need to patch a hole in a wall or get away from your pets for 2 weeks.

I remember the first time I met Meg. It was Anthony’s birthday and he wanted me to come out to MacGregors to meet this stunning girl he had been seeing.  A few Irish Car Bombs later and there we were, 2 country boys and a beautiful blond stuck in front of Deer Hunter the video game.  When Meg proved she had what it takes to kill more Bambies than us I told him:

“Any woman that can shoot a toy gun like that is worth keeping!”

I was right because he’s definitely getting the better end of the deal.  Anthony, you are a lucky groom – you’ve married Meg, who’s beautiful, smart, funny, warm, loving and caring, and she deserves a good husband. Thank God you married her before she found one.

I’ve been told that Meg is good at a lot of things but directions are not one of them.  I don’t know how she found her way to their first date, but I’m pretty sure one of the biggest reasons she keeps him around is because she can’t read a map.  Anthony, whatever you do, don’t buy her a GPS device because she might not need you anymore.

I lied, I do have one small piece of advice. If I have learned anything during the past year it’s this. Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

From the moment I saw them together I could tell that they’re very much in love and would bring each other happiness for years to come.  It was truly an honor for me to be a part of their day.  I would like to propose a toast to the happy couple, wishing them years upon years of blissful happiness. 

To Anthony and Meg…

May your love grow ever stronger as you share your lives together, and may your future be  more wonderful than you dreamed possible.

And Now I Feel Old

Mr and Mrs Pike's first KissMy niece Jennifer was married to Jeremy Pike last Friday April 18th. It was a Beautiful Ceremony at the Christian Community Church of East Williamson. Rachel and I were able to see some people we haven’t seen since our wedding including my Brother! Always a good time.

The only problem is. Now I feel Old. Is that wierd? She’s only my niece and really only 6 years younger.