for you, the sun will be shining

Yay! Finally, the wedding day has arrived! After a year of planning, Lisa and Branden were ready to tie the knot!

After a fitful night’s sleep (what bride doesn’t experience that?), the bride and her entourage arrived at the hotel. We had a stylist come to my hotel room to do our hair, and she did a great job.

Kelly Wedding

Wedding Details

After we finished our hair and makeup, we hung out and had a little lunch. Meanwhile, the boys were at Lisa and Branden’s apartment playing video games and eating pizza.

The robes that Lisa gave us were perfect to wear that morning as we were getting ready.

Kelly Wedding

And then the flowers arrived! They were beyond gorgeous. Straight out of a magazine.

Kelly Wedding

Lisa booked a big yellow school bus to transport us to and from the wedding and she called one last time to confirm.

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

Time to get in the dress! All ready to go! Quite beautiful if I do say so myself!

Kelly Wedding

The flower in her hair and her necklace were great Etsy finds.

Kelly Wedding

As planned, the school bus was waiting for us in front of the hotel to take us to Lisa and Branden’s apartment where they would see each other for the first time on their rooftop deck overlooking the Manhattan skyline. What better place for a first look?

Kelly Wedding

Luckily, the rain held off! The cloudy overcast was better for pictures and it was still clear enough to see across to Manhattan.

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

The boys were positioned on the rooftop deck. Branden was standing on the far end, awaiting his bride. The photographers were poised and ready. Family was anxiously standing to the side. Time for the girls to bring in the bride! We walked ahead of Lisa as she prepared for her big moment.

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

And the moment was wonderfully special. Lisa was much calmer after seeing Branden. She finally started to relax.

Kelly Wedding

Time for pictures!

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

And a toast!

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

Then we all loaded onto the bus and headed to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Unfortunately I was too busy being a Matron of Honor to get any pictures of the ceremony. But Lisa’s friend took some good ones. The ceremony was personal and lovely. The venue was the perfect setting – the dark wood bookshelves added drama, but made it cozy. I can’t wait to see the pictures from the photographers.

After the ceremony, I had the honor of signing their marriage license as a witness. We spent some time at the library taking pictures and then headed to the cocktail hour to eat some yummy hors d’oeuvres and mingle with guests.

Once guests took their seats, the wedding party was introduced to Phoenix’s “1901” – which made my husband very happy.

Kelly Wedding

The couple went right into their first dance to “Songbird” sung by Rosie Thomas

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

Time for the Best Man and Matron of Honor speeches.

Kelly Wedding

I hope mine went over ok. I don’t really remember much, except that I was nervous.

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

The tables at Bubby’s turned out great – with flowers from the florist and table # flags made by yours truly.

Kelly Wedding

The menu was delicious (designed by me) – and the food was pretty good too! Actually the food was spectacular! I had the fried chicken.

Kelly Wedding

Instead of wedding cake, Lisa and Branden had wedding pies – Apple pie and Peanut Butter pie (Bubby’s is known for its pies after all.) They had cupcakes too!

Kelly Wedding

The bride definitely enjoyed her fried chicken. I love that she stuck her napkin in her dress! Ha!

Kelly Wedding

The beers were served in wide mouth Ball jars. And I think my brother quite enjoyed them.

Kelly Wedding

Because this is what happened. He broke out his “Tom Haverford” face.

Kelly Wedding

After dinner, Lisa danced with our Dad to “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel.

Kelly Wedding

And Branden danced with his mom to “In My Life” by The Beatles.

Kelly Wedding

Then the dance party could really begin. Branden’s nephew Joe really brought the moves. He was hilarious.

Kelly Wedding

The girls tore it up to Katy Perry’s “Firework”!

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

Kelly Wedding

The end of the party came way too quickly, so we headed to an afterparty at a nearby bar.

Kelly Wedding

Brothers-in-law… Weird.

Kelly Wedding

Of course the boys couldn’t end the night without taking a shot of something.

Kelly Wedding

The night was absolutely fabulous and quite memorable. It flew by for me, so I can imagine it was quite a whirlwind for Lisa and Branden. At least they got to relive the memories on their honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. And Drew and I had plenty of time to relive it as well, while we dealt with flight issues the following day. But we made it home!

See the rest of my pictures from the wedding on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac

going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married

On the way to New York for the 4th time since August, it occurred to me that my entire immediate family was going to be in the same city for the first time since my wedding 4 years ago – and that’s pretty special to me. Not only was my sister getting married, but I got to see my mom, dad and brother all in the same weekend. AND a few of my aunts, uncles and a cousin whom I rarely see!!

I had looked forward to this weekend for so long, and after some delays at the airport in Austin we arrived in NY late, missing dinner with the bride and groom. 😦

We kicked off the festivities with a little girl time at the nail salon and then the rehearsal at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Lisa gathered and instructed the troops.

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

The men were very attentive to the bride.

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

The girls needed little direction.

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

All lined up!

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Practicing the official hand-off

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

The bride is all business

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Done! Easy! We walked through everything twice – that’s all it took. Off to dinner at Bacchus Bistro!

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Gifts

Here’s a close-up of the rehearsal bouquet Lisa’s friend Carey made out of the ribbons from her shower gifts. Carey made the ribbons INTO flowers! AND she made the base in papier-mâché out of the leftover wrapping paper! I’ve never seen such a perfectly arranged ribbon bouquet!

Rehearsal Bouquet

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

My dad and brother

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Me and the bride

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

My dad and his fiancée, Julie

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

The bride and her mother (and my mother!)

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Me and the hubs

Kelly Wedding Rehearsal

Branden and his family visiting

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Everyone is mesmerized by the bride

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

The happy couple, in anticipation…

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

The bride and her bridesmaid, Jessica

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

The best man and his fiancée Leslie

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

The bride with her bridesmaid, Katie

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

My dad giving a very heartfelt and touching speech

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

After dinner, the bride and groom presented their wedding party with presents. The girls got lovely robes and the boys got jerseys for their favorite teams.

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

Rehearsal Dinner at Bacchus

After dinner we went back to the hotel and visited with more family. We were hoping the rain would hold out for the big day…

See all of my pictures from the rehearsal on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Going To The Chapel” by the Crystals

i turn my camera on

I’d been itching to trade my digital SLR in for a newer model for a while and I finally decided to do it in time for my sister’s wedding. I stayed with Canon so I could reuse my lenses and just upgraded to the newest Rebel – the T3i. It’s a big step up in mega-pixels and it takes HD video.

I gave it a spin at the Old Pecan Street Festival which takes place on 6th street in downtown Austin. 6th street used to be called Old Pecan street. The street is blocked off and is filled with tents of local arts and crafts, live music, and lots of food. And lots of people. And it was extremely hot that day!

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Afterwards, we headed to Drew’s office rooftop for a few aerial pictures.

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

Pecan Street Festival

A small wedding was taking place on the roof of a nearby hotel. I felt like a paparazzi!

Pecan Street Festival

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “I Turn My Camera On” by Spoon

they sing out, i am gonna stand my ground

With Austin being the “Live Music Capital of the World!” we knew it wouldn’t be long before we found an outdoor concert to go to. We saw that The Decemberists were coming to Stubb’s so we got tickets, even though we’d already seen them live twice before in Chicago. But they’re one of our favorites! So we knew it would be a good show. Stubb’s is a barbeque restaurant with an outdoor stage. It’s standing room only – and you stand in dirt (and unfortunately I wore the wrong shoes that night.) I took note to dress more casually next time. This ain’t Chicago.

Their setlist from 4/30 at Stubb’s in Austin:

Shiny
Calamity Song
Rox In The Box
Rise to Me
We Both Go Down Together
The Bagman’s Gambit
Won’t Want For Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
The Crane Wife 1 & 2
The Crane Wife 3
The Rake’s Song
Don’t Carry It All
Down By the Water
16 Military Wives
This Is Why We Fight

Encore:
Eli, The Barrow Boy
The Mariner’s Revenge Song

Encore 2:
June Hymn

I was thrilled that they played Crane Wife 1, 2 and 3 back to back and my first favorite, 16 Military Wives.

I had commented on Facebook that the concert poster for that night was pretty cool. So, we ended up buying it there as a little momento for our first concert in our new hometown.

We’re suckers for good concert posters. It’ll go along with our Wilco and The Hold Steady posters we’ve had for a few years.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Rise to Me” by The Decemberists

we were living in the sweet part of the city

During my first official weekend spent in Austin, we decided to do some sightseeing around town. We first hit up 6th street, which is known for it’s funky bars and shops.

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

There’s an area off of a side street that has a lot of street art, so we stopped to take some pictures.

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

I think these “Obey” signs are by Shepard Fairey.

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

We drove up to the capital and then walked around the campus for a bit.

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

It was a hot day (and it was only April). See the rest of my pictures on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “The Sweet Part of the City” by The Hold Steady

you can stand under my umbrella

Just a short week after uprooting my life in Chicago and moving to Austin, I had to hop a plane to New York for Lisa’s bachelorette party. This party has been planned for a long time and it is sort of amazing to me how much my life has changed in between the last time I was there (March) and now. In just one month. What a whirlwind.

I’ve been to New York many times in the last 8+ years since my sister has lived there, but this was my shortest trip. Arrived Friday afternoon, left Sunday morning.

On Saturday, the weather was crummy. Totally not reflective of a fun party day, but we’d rather get rain now than on the wedding day! We started the day with her bestie Katie at a spa where we got pedicures and facials. Then Katie graciously hosted a few of us at her apartment for some wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Katie’s apartment, on 42nd street, has a fantastic view of Manhattan – even on a cloudy, rainy day.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa’s ready to party!

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Lisa and her friends Allison, Jess, and Katie.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Then we headed to Koreatown for karaoke! A bunch more joined us in our private room and Lisa kicked off the night with Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”. Belt it out Lisa!

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Good thing the receiver was labeled.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

There was some Lady Gaga…

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

A rockin’ Bohemian Rhapsody…

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Umbrella…ella…ella… Very appropriate for the night’s weather.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Of course, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

And a very “touching” solo from the Bride…

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Most songs ended up as a group singing effort.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

Then Lisa and Katie took a trip down memory lane and performed a rousing duet to Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion’s duet “Tell Him.”

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

I don’t know who was Barbra and who was Celine. But it was entertaining.

Karoake

Then the sisters did a Sonny and Cher number. I got you babe.

Lisa's Bachelorette Party

The night ended with a few of us jumping over to a bar in Manhattan – I have no idea where or what it was called, but it was cool. Then we dashed for a cab in the POURING rain and before I knew it, I was on a plane back to Texas! Now I’m gearing up for the BIG DANCE – the wedding is on May 14!!!

See the rest of my pictures from the bachelorette party on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson