Honoring Father’s Day 2017

Even though all of my attention right now is being taken up by one particular little man, this year I want to honor three other very special men in my life.

First is my father. Although he lives in Southern California, he still managed to find time leading up to Zach’s birth to take the family crib and cradle out of storage, fix and clean them up, then bring them to us all during his work vacations. He helped Luke prep and paint the nursery among other house projects when we first moved in. My dad also decided to buy us a dresser for the nursery which he then built a beautiful oak wood changing table for. My father also spent all night alongside my mother praying and walking the halls of the hospital waiting for news about how Zach and I were doing. After Zach’s birth he helped with projects around the house, that is when he wasn’t holding or making faces at his new grandson. He is a amazing father who is  nurturing and kind and I am grateful for all his actions which speak so much louder than words.

Next is my father-in-law. With his business experience in construction, John did the inspection for our home for the minimal cost of a good home cooked meal, favorite dessert, and a beer or two. He has been consulting with Luke providing advice for work to be done in and around the house now and down the road. He fixed up and painted the family rocking chair to use in the nursery and helped pick up and deliver furniture to us several times. In addition to all of this, he also built us a baby gym for Zach. Using online designs as a guide, he made an improved all-wood and strings model that can be thrown in a bag. He also helped with a ton of house projects after Zach was born. He even helped us introduce Kira to our newest member of the family when we got home from the hospital. I am grateful to get to know this second-father better now that we live closer and for his hard-working  attitude of “what’s next?”

As for the third? Wait for my next post.




Special Wedding Guests: how to care for kids, grandparents, and those with allergies.

We all want to ensure those who come to our wedding, especially close friends and family are well cared for and can enjoy the experience. I thought I’d share a few details from my wedding and some additional ideas to show you care for those special wedding guests.


I did not have many children at my wedding, and all of those who came were toddlers or older. But for those that came I chose to provide coloring books and crayons from the 99 cent store placing them in mason jars on their dinning tables. During the celebration, one boy came up to me and politely asked if he could keep his dinosaur themed coloring book. Another family with three children colored pages which they tore from their books and gave to Luke and I as gifts.


Other options: If you are anticipate a large number of children, consider hosting a children’s table which can have butcher paper or a paper table cloth that the children can draw on, paper place mats would work well too. This way the children can still participate and enjoy themselves while their parents get a chance to have a grown-up discussion.


coloring at my bridal shower



my grandmother’s

Luke's grandmother and friend

Luke’s grandmother and friend

Grandparents of the Bride and Groom are honored guests that should be considered in the wedding venue. And knowing the venue’s staff’s friendliness toward your guests and their needs is important. It was pouring down rain at my wedding rehearsal so one of my grandmothers , Luke’s grandmother and their friends decided to spend the rehearsal in the bridal room that the coordinator willingly offered to open.


My rainy wedding rehearsal and the golf-cart used to transport guests

My wedding was outdoors at a three level venue, bottom for ceremony, terrace for hors d’oeuvre, and top level for dinner with two paths: a set of stairs and a concrete walkway. Fortunately the venue offered golf-cart rides for guest who needed assistance on these paths for the rehearsal and wedding. In addition to this, we also had ushers who were available to help people down the path and/or across the grass to their seats both of which I know the grandparents appreciated.



Those with Allergies 


my cousin and her husband at the front of the serving line

I am more than sympathetic with those who suffer from food allergies, considering I have my good share of them.  My cousin,  grandmother, and my mother-in-law are all gluten-free. The dinner was BBQed chicken and or steak, salad, rice, and bread. Fortunately each piece of the meal was in its own container and dished up by servers using separate serving utensils for each dish.  So my grandmother and cousin were able to specify to the food servers not to put bread on their plates. Still the venue made it clear they could not set up a gluten-free zone in their kitchen. And my mother-in-law ,who for health reasons only eats organic and gluten free, was allowed to bring her own meal.


I was able to have my wedding cake because cake flour does not contain barley, but for those who were gluten-free I also chose to have a dessert bar. The venue offered vintage candy store glass jars for free use. All I needed to provide were the goodies, labels, and serving utensils.


Since this was a fall wedding in apple country, we had a container for carmel apple pops.We also chose one favorite old fashion candy of the Groom’s (Luke) root beer barrels and the bride’s (me) soft peppermints. Last of all we made gluten-free shortbread cookies and organic and gluten free peanut butter cookies. We bought small goody-bags and set up a sign instructing guests to fill up a bag to take home. So this was both a way to take care of those who weren’t fans or couldn’t eat cake and an edible favor! I had Stina (my soon to be sister-in-law) set up and monitor the candy bar making sure it stayed stocked.


It is in the these small ways I showed those guests who needed a little special attention that they are appreciated and welcomed.