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Monthly Archive for October, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Fall is one of my favorite times of year, and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I just love the temperature, the wind, the color, the leaves, the pumpkins. We didn’t get one this year, though. Time ran out is really the only answer, though I might still pick up a few tomorrow – I mean, my all time favorite holiday is coming up next!

Have a happy halloween!

Honor System Veggie Stand

Our wedding: The marriage!

So that’s it!
Thanks so much for listening to me as we have planned our wedding, and now as I have been remembering some of my favorite parts. I really am a lucky girl! It was such a fun, exciting, and trying experience, and at the end of it all I have a beautiful husband, and the beginnings of a loving adventure called a marriage.

I admit that I am pretty pumped about it all!

Our Wedding: Dessert and Dance

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Shot time!

Uncle Dan, Aunt Bev, Aunt Paulette

Our cake was a gift from Nathan’s parents – vanilla with hazelnut frosting, and of course there were pies! We also served coffee, and liqueur dessert shots. I loved cutting the cake with Nathan! My mom brought her mother’s daffodil silver pie server and knife for us to use to serve the cake! It was actually from my grandmother’s wedding! It was so fun to use it to cut our cake. There was a pretty little candy shop set up for guests, too. We took lots of photos at the polaroid photo booth, attempted to dance (our first dance was to James Taylor’s How Sweet It Is…), and enjoyed each other’s company.

Our Wedding: Reception

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We had until 1 pm to decide if we’d actually have the ceremony outside due to rain. Our initial plan was to have the ceremony outside on the gorgeous lawn looking up at the house, but it had been off and on pouring for days. Our rain plan was to have the guests sit at the dinner tables, and watch the ceremony. At 1 pm the sun was shining, and their was a crisp cool fall feeling in the air so Nathan and I decided to go with our initial plan of the ceremony outside! My best friend AJ was doing my makeup in the upstairs bedroom, and I could actually see all my friends taking chairs one by one to the lawn to set up for the ceremony.

All of a sudden the sky turned grey, but AJ said it was just my imagination and to relax. And, then THUNDER! And, then sheets of rain! At least three of my friends were caught in the rain trying to grab the chairs to bring them back inside! I remember being so surprised, and yelling out the window to the lawn, “I’m sorry!!!!” Oh it’s so funny looking back, but really – my friends are awesome. Turns out our rain plan was to be implemented!

Once I was ready I remember people coming in the house, being greeted, hellos!, exciting voices, and overall gleeful chatter. I was upstairs waiting and waiting and waiting. I didn’t have a wedding party as you know and so I was alone for most of the time before the ceremony. I sat on the bed, and told myself, “it’s just a party…it’s just a party.”

And, then the party started!

We had family style dining with a beautiful spread of food made possible by some fantastic people! We first snacked on appetizers – fruit, nuts, olives, cheese, and the best wings you could imagine! Nathan and I wanted family influences and so we asked both our mothers to contribute to the food. My mom made southern potato salad, southern brown sugar baked beans, pecan pie and another southern fave chess pie. Yum!! We devoured the tater salad! Nathan’s mom baked so many pies – apple, cherry, blueberry, blackberry! And, the main event was catered by Nathan’s wonderful cousin’s – Robbi and Krystal. They did such an awesome job. The night before the wedding they prepped the food – shucking corn, marinating wings, boiling noodles, and cutting up condiments. We had all our favorite bbq faves including burgers, hotdogs, tater salad, boston baked beans (made possible by Robbi’s mom and Nathan’s aunt!), macaroni salad, green salad. I was in complete awe at how much delicious food there was, and the amount of work Robbi, Krystal, and all of our guests put in.

Our wedding: family

I met my oldest brother for the first time on my wedding day. How unbelievably amazing is that? I had always known about Josh since I was young enough to remember. He is three years older than me, we share the same father, and the same birthday – June 29th! I also always knew that he lived in Ohio, and though I did search online growing up for a Joshua Kirk in Ohio – nothing ever came up. Until about two years ago when my brother Drew found Kenny our father after 23 years!! And, then suddenly we were one big family.

Josh really was a great present to have that day. He is so calm and caring, and I can’t wait to get to know my older brother better!

our wedding: flowers

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Oh, I love flowers! The day before my wedding I discovered that my friend Johnny was once a florist!! I mean, how lucky am I? I had planned on “winging” all the flower arrangements myself the day before the wedding, but Johnny was amazing enough to do most all of it! He froze his fingers off I am sure of it, but they turned out just beautifully. Thank you Mr. Johnny!

I ordered my flowers from The Grower’s Box two months in advance, and they arrived on time and in great condition! The asters didn’t open up as nicely as the petite sunflowers did, but we were able to add in some wild flowers for fill in my bouquet. Johnny made the boutinierre’s out of dried cones from Florida and acorns from Illinois.

oh, etsy!

I mean, I really depended on etsy and some amazing do-it-yourself-ers to bring this wedding together. And, I really have to highlight Kelly of KellyBowBelly! She has the cutest shop of little kid accessories from neckties to bowties to skirts, and beyond that is so nice to work with!! She was above and beyond helpful, and considerate to my order – cute matching ties for my handsome nephews Jacob and Griffin.

I highly recommend her!

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Drew Kirk.com coming soon!

I just need to take a moment to praise my little brother Drew who has booked his third wedding this month (and ever)! I am so proud of him, and so lucky to have been the first.

I love you buddy.

My brother, Drew

Our wedding: ceremony

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I’ve been asked a few times now what was my favorite part of the wedding, and I have to say it was the ceremony. We were so happy to have Nathan’s father Mr. Bob Griffin marry us in front of our friends and family. My father-in-law can weave a story together so naturally that you can’t help but be inclined to give your undivided attention. Nathan and I always knew that we wanted him to tell our story, and bring us together on our wedding day.

The ceremony was perfectly us – sweet, loving, awkward, funny (I cannot believe how many laughs were had), honest, and just beautiful. We asked Bob to say a bit about the importance of love, marriage, and family (where he spoke to his long and loving marriage with his wife Debbi), and then we read our vows to one another. Nathan and I have always written to each other from before we even formed a romantic relationship. We created a journal space where we could write to each other, we leave notes (on post-its) for each other around the house, and we have a box filled with correspondence. The funny thing about Nathan’s vows is that he lost them the night before the wedding and had to rewrite them hours before our ceremony!! Well, technically he lost his iphone which the vows were saved on. But even still he did a great job at writing them again last minute.

My vows:

Nathan, I think we are rare. Pure. But even moreso I think you are. I think all of these things you do daily are so true, and wonderful. The motions you have made to be present for us. The ways you love me. The million-billion-gabillion ways you let me know. I think about our love today, our love tomorrow. And, even when I think it’s impossible I love you more.

Because I love you I promise to be your best friend.
I promise to encourage you, your endeavors – and all 300 of your art projects.
I promise to listen to you, and love you the way you need to be loved.
I promise to laugh with you often – in the kitchen when we are making dinner, at the bus stop when we are trying to forget how cold Chicago is, and all those moments in between when nothing but a laugh will do.
I promise to be patient with and for you – I promise to live in the moment with you.
I promise to be your loving partner in all our adventures, and I intend to keep my promise that I made to you the first time we met.
Because I know I will love you for the next 85 years. And, then some.

Nathan’s vows:

There are few relationships in life which simply make sense; peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese, hot chocolate in winter and you and I. Days after we met, I wrote to you and said, “I think I may be falling in love with you. I don’t want to let you go. I feel close to bursting. I don’t want to leave here, this place, your company.” And two years later, standing here beside you, nothing has changed. I am still falling in love with you and I still don’t want to leave your side. We are lucky, you and I.

So my one promise to you is this… with each passing moment, my love and devotion to you and our future together will not waver. It will only grow as we grow, tenderly nurtured through constant dialogue, great sex and the occasional moment when the courage to say, “I was wrong, I’m sorry” makes all the difference.

I love you.

We ended up hugging and kissing quite a bit during the entire ceremony. At one point I remember saying, “I don’t think we are supposed to kiss this much.”

And, then we were Nathan and Carey Griffin!!
It was such a beautiful moment.

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a breakdown in communication

“Do you like Chicago?”

I tend to get asked this question a lot, and I honestly don’t know how to answer it.
It feels like Chicago and I dated casually for a good year or two, and then trouble reared its ugly head. Little things Chicago did would get under my nerves – ya know, how chomping really loudly with your mouth open does or antagonizing you in your moments of rest. I can tell Chicago isn’t the happiest with me right now either. I stopped going out to dance and drink whiskey as much, and limited my adventures to the weekend. Because, well, Chicago I am sorry – but it’s hard waking up at 4:30 in the morning and sitting on your public transportation for an hour and a half just to work a 9 hour day. Chicago why don’t you understand!!

The thing about this trouble between Chicago and I is that neither of us know how to acknowledge it yet. We know we should probably talk about it, figure it out, come to some conclusions. But instead we just ignore it. I try to see the cup half full on most days, but lately it’s been hard. Chicago is full of murderers and gang members and people who want to steal your money and cut you up. At least that’s what the news reports, and what I see living in the lovely Humboldt Park.

The (in)Famous flag

And in light of my recent encounter everyone is a bad guy.

But it looks as though Chicago is trying to see the cup half full, too. And, I give her credit.

Friday morning though she was testing me. I awake to sheets of rain outside. I check the weather to find out that it is going to last all day. Great! I am meeting my partners for work at a different location than normal to plan, and this means I have to take two buses and walk a good 5 blocks over the Amtrak tracks to get to them… in the rain. Okay, Chicago let’s do this. I grab my umbrella, and head out. See though, Chicago can’t make up its mind and is always changing the rules somewhere along the way. On Friday it was in the name of bus stops! They moved the bus stop to the other side of the street. Only problem…there is a car parked in front of the bus stop, a small tree blocking the driver’s view of any pedestrians waiting, and a large puddle (okay more like a pond now) on the road for cars to splash on through as they drive 10 over the speed limit on Western avenue.

I’m sure you know where I am going. The bus driver completely passed me up! I waved with my big yellow umbrella – HEY!!! But she just kept on going. This means I have to wait another 15 minutes in the rain. Then of course Chicago is a little tempermental and decides to blow my umbrella in to the street! I am sans umbrella. I run back to the house (at this point the sun has come up) to get another umbrella, but my key gets stuck in the door. I have to wake up Nathan through a phone call to let me in because I cannot get the key out.

Chicago knows how to push my buttons.

Finally I get on a bus going south on Western, and arrive at my next stop. There is a guy waiting there with me about my age, but his day might even be worse. He doesn’t have a jacket or an umbrella, and while he looks nice enough he could be a bad guy. This is Chicago after all. I think to offer him a spot under my umbrella with me but decide against it. Right now I don’t care about humanity. He decides to ask me when the bus will show up (because I had checked it on bus tracker – okay Chicago I see you are trying with this one), and I tell him four minutes. He looks pitiful – cold, wet, and nice. I offer to let him stand under my umbrella.

And, just like that…
We are two strangers attempting small talk in the cold rain under one umbrella.

And this is when I realize that not all of Chicago is bad. There are good people here. There are good moments here. There are good times here (had and to be had). It just ebbs and flows like all relationships. And, if this is going to work, Chicago and I are going to have to meet in the middle.