Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Wedding Bliss: Matt and Jana

'Tis the season. Last weekend was Matt and Jana's wedding. Mandy and Liv volunteered to use their skills toward creating all the flower arrangements for the wedding, that included all the table pieces, bouquets, and boutonnières. They went up to the flower mart in LA on Friday morning and were busy working on flowers all day long. I think the one thing they wanted most by the end of the day was a real work bench:
I helped by heating up some frozen pizzas on the BBQ and watch the Giants beat the Dodgers. I also guarded the flowers as the arrangements began to spring up all over the dining and living rooms:
We drove up to Camarillo the next day, for the wedding. It's beautiful there, just inland of Oxnard and Ventura. Lot's of vineyards and farms. We quickly set up all the decorations and rushed over to the hotel to clean up a bit and change into our wedding clothes. It was pretty hectic, but it all turned out looking great:
The bride and the father of the bride:
Cocktail hour after the ceremony and before the wedding dinner:
The food was really good, especially for buffet-style wedding food. Everyone helped Matt and Jana celebrate the occasion by dancing the night away:
Sending off the newlyweds w/ a gauntlet of sparklers. Extra points for burn marks ;) :

Palm Springs!

Two weekends ago, we headed out to Palm Springs, for our friend's, Scott and Fallon, wedding. Here we are backing out of the driveway Saturday morning, ready to hit the road!
Beautiful skies awaited us. It was really hot though, at least 105 F. A/C is a must. What do you know, there are quite a few palm trees in palm springs:
The wedding was at one of those really nice 50's/60's modern houses in what we learned was the 'nice neighborhood'. A really neat, modern style design. A lot of these places are for rent all summer long, their owners have enough sense to only return to the desert in the winter:

There was a pool in the backyard that I was sure people would be falling in to. No one fell in accidentally, but one or two were pushed. There was a lot of swimming going on this weekend:
The ceremony:
Staying cool with a beer. We look much too pasty for this place, you'd think we flew in from Seattle, not socal residents:
The food was catered by a local mexican restaurant. It was very good! They also rented the restaurant's mariachi band, which was really neat. I've never seen a mariachi band with a harp before:
The sun finally went down and this made us very happy, because the temperature dropped at least 15 degrees, so it was only 91 F...:

Not a great picture of Dan and Celena, but this was their second wedding of the day. They really did have a fun time, though:
Cupcakes instead of wedding cake. These ones were pistachio flavored:
Hanging out at the bar with what looks like a nude groom. Scott is crazy like that, but who are we to argue, it's his wedding...:
We returned the next morning for brunch and swimming. Mandy and one of the Boston Terrier pups that were running around. This is the 'social' one:
Passing the Pee-Wee Herman dinosaurs (the statues, not the retirees ;) ) on our way home from the desert:
Fun times! We're definitely going to have to make another trip out to Palm Springs again. The motel we stayed at, the Desert Riviera (not pictured), was really awesome. Super friendly staff, all family run and very accommodating. What a great experience!

Labor Days

Labor Day weekend, we had a BBQ on that Monday in celebration of all the hard work we've been doing around the house. Here I am putting up the new curtain rod in the art/craft room to try and control the afternoon heat that room collects. I think the new 'black-out' curtain helps some, but the main problem is that single-pane sliding glass window right there that faces the southwest and turns that back room into a greenhouse.
A small gathering of friends sipping Mandy's homemade sangria in the shade of our monstrous reed-avocado tree. Delicious!
Some of our friends got creative and played beachball-volleyball over the low-hanging, low-voltage electrical wires that hang between our house and the garage.
Jerod was the lone casualty of the day. He cut his hand jumping over the chain-link fence between our yard and the neighbors. He was chasing down the beachball. I think he'll be ok, his wife's a doctor.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's wedding season

Last weekend, we drove up to San Jose for the first of 4 weddings we are attending in the next 6 weeks.  Phew!  This one was my friends Cindy and Daniel from my old church.  Henceforth, I got to see a lot of old friends from church at the wedding that I haven't seen in years.  It was a really fun wedding and so beautiful!  It was held outside at Daniel's dad's house in the foothills.  Daniel just happens to be the brother of one of my best friends in the world, Heather Cain. Her husband Brett owns his own landscaping business.  He did all the yard renovations and it looked amazing.  You should hire him.  But back to the wedding, Cindy looked beautiful and Daniel looked dashing.  It was a great party and a great way to spend a weekend celebrating with them for their new life together.  Thanks for inviting us!We also had a secret mission of delivering our favorite dog up north for the week.  Chloe was great in the car and especially loved sniffing the parking lot at In-n-Out when we stopped for dinner.  I miss her when she's not around and she's not even my dog!  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Parables of the Lost Sheep, Coin:

Two weeks ago, I was asked to teach the sermon at our church. We are currently going through the Parables of Jesus. My theme that I really wanted to get across was "Remember the Forgotten". I think this is something that I need reminding of daily, and I think we could all use this reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in showing love to our best friends and our favorites and the people we deem 'worthy' of loving, but really it was Christ's mission to love those that deserved no love but needed it most. So we aught to follow his example, humble ourselves and love all equally.

[Matthew 18:10-14 / Luke 15:3-10] “Parable of the Lost Sheep/Coin”

You can watch or listen to it here: http://www.revchurchlb.com/podcast2
It's the 'Once Upon a Time: week 7' sermon. If you have problems streaming it (need to talk to Andrew about his video-compression settings), then try downloading it on a fast connection. Thanks to everyone who supported me with their prayers.