In with the new!

2011 is gone and now it’s time to enjoy 2012! It was a relatively good year for us, we had a great wedding with close friends and family, got in a nice trip to Vegas, and I signed up for IMAZ 2012! We’re going to start 2012 off with a quick trip to San Antonio to see Amy’s parents. Among the highlights are: staying down on the riverwalk and seeing Les Misérables at the Majestic Theater. Hopefully the trip with produce some nice times worthy of a blog post.

Sweet 360 degree view of the theater just move your mouse around on the pic.

Amy has been in San Antonio for a week and I’m headed there for just a few days. As my job requires me to be here on New Year’s Eve, I had to celebrate the new year with out her. I’m not really a huge New Year’s Eve partier, too crowded out and cabs are almost impossible to get, so I just chilled out at home.

Here’s how I rang in the New Year:

Here’s to a year of fitness and fun!

and we’re married!

After months of planning, a few days of some serious errand running and some weather worries, Amy and I were married in a perfect, beautiful ceremony in my parent’s backyard!   It was definitely a sprint getting the backyard all set-up but it really came together well.  The best decision we made in the few days prior was the renting of patio heaters and having a fire, it got pretty chilly for we Arizonans.

While there were some stressful times as we navigated the problems that come up as an event comes together, it was cool as family and friends from out of town started to arrive.  My parents had a small get together on Friday night, everyone seemed to have a good time even though a pretty substantial dust storm blew through that day and evening. It would have been a serious challenge if  the storm had of come through on Sunday, we dodged a bullet there!  On Saturday we got the rental items delivered and set-up and had the rehearsal. While there was some good natured ribbing of Amy for her information folders that everyone got, these proved to be infinitely valuable as the event approached so everyone knew the tasks they had been assigned.

The rehearsal went smoothly and afterwards we adjourned ourselves to The Living Room for the rehearsal dinner.  This place did a great job and we had a really fun night. We wanted to have a nice relaxed atmosphere and be able to just hang out with our wedding party, the two sitting areas with couches worked perfectly!  It was some great noshing on bruschetta, cheese trays, cheese fondues, spinach dip and a chocolate fondue to finish things off.  We all had some wine and great conversations! After that party broke up Amy and her bridesmaids headed to the hotel and I went home looking forward to the big day ahead.

The day of was a whirlwind of activity! We started putting the finishing touches on the yard around 8:30 am, since some tables had to be set up after the ceremony we organized boxes for each table’s items to make it easier for the caterer to set them up.  This was key in making it a smooth transition and Amy’s bridesmaids and the caterer did a great job making it happen.  After we got most of the things set up I was off to run my final errands, this took much longer than planned.  Had to pick up tables from the restaurant, stock the coolers for the bar and get ice, pick up the keg, and get the tables set-up for the buffet. Then get cleaned up at the barber, take shower and make it back to my parents house to get dressed and be ready for our guests to arrive.

The cocktail hour started at 3:30 and we had a great showing! It was a nice way to start things out, seeing everyone and people catching up and enjoying some tasty beverages. The specialty drink, The Kentucky Classic (Maker’s Mark and Ale-8-One) was very popular, so much that the bartender had to run out and get more Maker’s during the ceremony!   That hour flew by and all of a sudden it was time to start the ceremony.  Everyone took their seats or found a spot to stand and we were ready to go!

Sage Gentle-Wing, our musician played a nice guitar rift during the first part of the processional, after our wedding party was set he busted into The Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” and Amy and her dad walked out, she looked amazing in her dress! Our minister, Phil Waring, did a great job, the ceremony was perfect and not too long. We were announced and Sage busted into “When I’m Sixty Four” as we walked away finally married.

We headed out for some pictures and the guests got to enjoy some appetizers and drinks for a bit. I have really enjoyed working with our photographer, David Orr.  He and his wife have been super easy to work with and we’re excited to see the the pictures they captured!  After that we all enjoyed some great food prepared by Creative Hands Cuisine, Chef Doug and his team did a fantastic job, from the quick table transition to the seamless service it was top notch! Highly recommend these guys!

After we ate we began the rounds to hobnob with everyone, it was so nice to see all of the people who came out to help us celebrate. There were some nice toasts and then some great hanging out, the fire pit has a bench and was a great place for people to talk and stay warm and the patio heaters worked perfectly!

A few other vendors of note: Bloom Events provided some beautiful flowers, and Sugar Lips Cakery cupcakes were amazing!

All and all it was great day, here’s a few pics from family and friends (David Orr photos still to come):

Chair set up for the ceremony                                     Tables and the fire pit

We’re married                                                    Here we are!

The Toasts

So far in August

So far August has flown by, I can’t believe my birthday is tomorrow!  It’s been a pretty chill month so far, got in some quality workouts but I have been slacking a little!  Overall I have kept up my treadmill running and that is the main goal, everything else will come around once it cools off a little.

Wedding Plans:

We’re making good progress in the wedding planning: Invitations ordered, got a quote on tables and chairs from Classic Party Rentals (very nice to work with),  Amy designed a great backyard layout and we found and purchased my suit for the wedding.  Pretty happy with the way things are coming together, hopefully we’ll get everything pretty much finalized by the end of the month!

Wedding Specialty Beverage and a fun afternoon:

A few weeks ago I had heard that a restaurant downtown was carrying my favorite Ginger-Ale like soda from Kentucky, Ale-8-One.  Usually I only get to enjoy it back in Kentucky so when I heard it was available here in Phoenix the thought of a Maker’s Mark and Ale-8-One was in my head!  Amy needed help setting up the booth for her work at the Phoenix Convention Center and the restaurant, District Kitchen is right around the corner.  Unfortunately we arrived downtown right as the Diamondbacks game was starting, parking and navigating down there was a challenge.  After finding the correct place to park and unload and a quick but sweaty booth set up we adjourned ourselves to the comfy bar area of the restaurant.  Besides getting a drink I rarely get to have we had a fantastic lunch!  I had the Grilled Short Rib Sandwich on a nice Brioche with some excellent Tater Tots.

The whole experience was very nice, downtown Phoenix has some cool places and we just don’t get down there enough.  Since I now know Ale-8-One is available here we decided to make Maker’s and Ale-8-One our Specialty Drink for the wedding. I thought it would be cool for the Kentuckians that are traveling here for the wedding as well as introducing our friends here to a part of Kentucky.  Twitter was very useful in interacting with the District Kitchen folks and they got me the name of the company they get the soda from, a few phone calls later we’re all set to get in a few cases for the wedding.  Maybe I’ll order some sooner than that just to have…

The coming weekend:

As I mentioned earlier my birthday is this weekend so we’re taking advantage of some nice summer rates at The Boulders up in Cave Creek.  We head up there tomorrow and come back on Monday, should be a nice relaxing time – pics to follow!

And finally: I’m all for this log-in screen for the internet!