Friday, May 31, 2013

Lin and Nate's Wedding (Part 2)

If you missed part one of Lin and Nate's Wedding, please mosey on over and take a peek.
Now, come on over to the reception with me.
As customary, the wedding party was introduced - a photo-op that I totally flaked out on. Lin has 4 beautiful children: Michael, Shelton, Lauren and Kaylin; Nate has two: Noah and Analese. Between the two they ended up with 3 girls and 3 boys. The 6 of them were introduced, appropriately, to the tune of "The Brady Bunch". Then Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nathan Lytle were introduced and danced their first dance.
But, before I introduce you to THE lovely couple, you get to take a look at THIS lovely couple.
 photo ebc7856b-b572-41b6-a2b3-352f5faedf91_zps3d69e706.jpg
Mike and Susan after 22 years of marriage

 photo a1b7b4b6-c154-4288-b7f1-ec55700837c5_zps358ad006.jpg
Lin and Nate after 22 minutes of marriage

 photo DSCN4129_zpsc8ed5654.jpg
Lin is dancing with her son Shelton, the blond boy is Noah holding hands with his sister Analese (who you can't see).
 Kaylin is the one on the right (holding hands with Nate) and Lauren is the one on the left.

 photo DSCN4126_zpsfcea875d.jpg
Lin and her son Michael

 photo DSCN4137_zps828fec47.jpg
Time to dance with dad. I kept looking for Lin Pin to join us...

Speaking of time to dance with dad. After writing THIS and THIS post, my dad got all sentimental on me and decided that he wanted me to dance on his toes once again. I begged , and pleaded with him not to do it, I'm not a little girl anymore, I'm going to hurt you, I told him. He insisted, and insisted. He made me. So, I was left with two choices. Obey your dad and break his toes, or disobey your dad and break his heart...

I chose what any good daughter would choose.

 photo DSCN4134_zps32c79f03.jpg

The unnamed child that took this picture did not know what the whole ordeal was about, so he failed to capture the toes. But the reaction on my dad's face captures it all. Dad, if I broke a toe, I'm sorry. I tried to warn you.

We danced the afternoon away. We ate, and we had fun at the "Photo Booth".

 photo DSCN4161_zps41ad0b0b.jpg
Mike and my dad's wife, Shirley
 photo DSCN4133_zpsd90d4b53.jpg
Laurie and Marshall

 photo DSCN4156_zpsa56b2b0d.jpg
Laurie, Grace, Marshall, Kelsey, and Donna (Marshall's mom)
Please note Lin and Nate right behind Marshall and Kelsey, eating cake!!!
 photo 854469bc-53fa-4be7-8e58-5afc536f903b_zps6d851c9d.jpg
Su Pu and Lar Par
 photo DSCN4146_zps4e4ede32.jpg

 photo fb0ed484-16ad-4b9e-bfba-a5b812fc2f09_zps98a55741.jpg

 photo DSCN4143-001_zps40b1bef4.jpg
Guess who's the ham of my bunch?

 photo DSCN4144_zps5fa443ef.jpg
Was it the threats, or do my kids actually want to please me because they like me now?

Just for the record. Elijah's eyelashes are just as long as Isaac's (if not longer). The shape of his eyes and the shadows, unfortunately, isn’t allowing you to appreciate their length.

 photo DSCN4168_zpse7cd1c6f.jpg
And then they were driven off into marital this beautiful 1958 Impala!

The following picture was taken by my sister, Laurie. The credit goes to her. I was in la-la land letting the "professionals" do their work.  Wouldn't you like to be driven away in that?

 photo LinandNate_zpsafedce99.jpg

Also, you need to know that I do have a brother and he was indeed at this wedding. He decided to become stealth. It wasn't till we all got home and looked at our pictures that we noticed. WHERE IN THE WORLD WAS KIRBY?


A note to Lin and Nate: When Grace and Paul finished singing I Will be Here, I bravely glanced back at Mike, knowing that we were both crying. He winked at me and softly whispered in my ear:  "I'm still here baby."
My blessing to the two of you is that 22 years from now, you will find yourselves listening to that same, timeless tune and with tears in your own eyes, be able to say to one another: Babe, I'm still here.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lin and Nate's Wedding (Part 1)

I have known my sister as Linda since the day I was born. I never knew, till a few months ago, that Linda really doesn't like her name. She told me that the day she was named, they took "Linda" and nailed it into a coffin and buried it forever. No one has been named Linda since. She decided no too long ago that from then on she would begin training people to call her Lin, and anyone who she is introduced to would never even know that her name is Linda. I have a real hard time getting used to calling her Lin. It used to be a "sibling" thing, we had nicknames for each other. My brother Kirby, was "Kirb", Laurie (Linda's twin) was "Lar Par", I was "Su Pu", and Linda was "Lin Pin the big fat hen", a nickname that we were totally allowed to voice since, as you will see, she doesn't have an ounce of "fat" in her. There was that one exception, we were still allowed to call her that, lovingly of course, when she was out to here carrying her three precious babies, yes, all at the same time.
You can understand why it is very hard for me to call he Lin without adding at least Pin.
But I will.  
I told her at her rehearsal dinner this is not the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a new, this is the end of a book. Tonight you get to slam that old one shut; tomorrow you open up and begin writing a new story.
I will from now on do my very best to honor her new story and call her Lin. But be warned everyone, Lin Pin may slip out every once in a while. ;)
I am notoriously bad at taking pictures. All three of my siblings are great photographers, but they are incredibly annoying ones too. When you have three crazy photographers with -compared to mine- state of the art cameras, that insist on taking pictures of everything and everybody all the time, adding my simple little camera to the mix was both embarrassing and unnecessary. To have one more person yelling wait! wait! just to pull out my rinky dink camera would be asking for more sighs and humphs than I was willing to listen to. Unfortunately, years of the same old song and dance trained me to never take the initiative to capture priceless moments, I was only conditioned to step aside and let others do the work. I really hate that about me, and I have tried and tried to get better at being a more proactive picture taker. Before we left for this trip I told my boys: This weekend is not about you. You will endure the 12 hour trip to and from Nashville without complaining, and you will gladly pose with a genuine smile on your beautiful faces for every picture that you are asked to be in. Go it? They did, and they were awesome.
 I did better than I usually do. But I really did a poor job at getting pictures of Lin and even worse of her husband Nate. After spending two hours curling my nieces hair, you'd think I would have at least had a record of my beautiful handiwork. But no, I don't have a single picture of them. Sigh...
But without further ado, here we go with what I was able to capture on this beautiful, perfect day.
 photo DSCN4086_zps8a725bd1.jpg

 photo DSCN4090_zpseb6c5303.jpg
Laurie, Lin and me

 photo f110468f-cfad-423f-96cc-b5aa28c91549_zps7be8e7b5.jpg
Grace, me and Kelsey. (my nieces, Laurie's daughters)

 photo DSCN4096_zps669b77b7.jpg
Kelsey, Laurie, and Grace

 photo DSCN4104_zps33c01244.jpg

My mother passed away in January 2000. Although we are all very glad that she was not around to witness the heartbreaks Linda went through, her absence that day was deeply felt and was very difficult. Lin did a fabulous job, however, to weave her memory into her big day. My mom made the cross-stitch of the Samford bell tower with Lin's favorite verse, Proverbs 3:4-5. This is the verse that Lin and Nate chose as their Wedding theme verse. The picture Lin chose is of my mom at age 14. The reason she chose this particular picture is because the necklace that Lin wore that day is the same necklace my mom is wearing in that picture. It is probably the most beautiful and unique necklace I have ever seen. Scroll up and you can see it on Lin. So sorry, I don't have a close-up :(

As if not having my mom there to watch Lin coming down the isle was not hard enough already, Lin had all of the guests stand and sing my mom's favorite hymn "Great is thy Faithfulness". I believe that this is one of Lin's favorite hymns, if not the favorite. The stories wrapped around the lyrics of that hymn are a testament to the faith and legacy that my mother left for us, and filled with promises for the new life that Lin and Nate will begin to share. I have never been able to sing that song without crying, May 25th was no exception.

After that the tears did not stop. Without telling me, Lin had picked the same wedding song that Mike and I had sung at our wedding almost 22 years ago. I was tearing up really bad, then I had the urge to look at Mike lovingly, only to find him tearing up as well. I amost fell appart, but I barely kept my composure. The song was I Will be Here, By Stephen Curtis Chapman. It was performed by my niece Grace, and an amazing up and coming country music singer, Paul Bogart. (it will be worth your time to follow this link. Paul sang the song, It all Started in the Kitchen, at the reception. It's a super cute song!)  I'll let you know when my niece becomes famous. And trust me, she will, she is unbelievable! Grace wrote a song for Lin and Nate and sang it at the reception, but as my very bad luck would have it, I was in the restroom and missed the entire thing. I'm still trying to recover from the disappointment.

Picture time was short and sweet. In the meantime I had a few pictures taken of my family. I'm really pleased how they turned out, so I will share some with you.

 photo DSCN4112_zpsff3c34b5.jpg
Me and my dad. Yes, we look ridiculously alike, I know.

 photo DSCN4106_zps078b3138.jpg
Elijah -12, me, Mike, Isaac-14

 photo DSCN4103_zps20de0c77.jpg
Another favorite family picture


 photo 4bc10a36-33bc-436d-b421-8a71d40b55b7_zpsdcdb1843.jpg
Me and Isaac
I left this photo extra large on purpose. It was the best way for me to show off my son's amazing eye lashes. Most women would kill for these!

 photo DSCN4098_zps1269758c.jpg

It's Reception time! Join me tomorrow for the rest of the story...


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday #4

Welcome to a new edition of
What I Wore Wednesday.
Come on over with me to the Pleated Poppy and see what everyone else is wearing.
My sister got married this weekend, and although I will be posting about it later, here is a sneak peek at what I wore that blessed day. (and also what my amazing family wore!)
 photo DSCN4103_zps20de0c77.jpg

 Gorgeous, I know! But lets' back up a few days and see what else I pulled out of my closet.
 photo DSCN4079_zps5bc5779d.jpg

 photo DSCN4073_zps3228b57d.jpg
Shirt and Boyfriend jeans: Old Navy
Flip Flops:Teva
 photo DSCN4180_zpsec202970.jpg
Skirt and shoes: Target; Shirt: LOFT; Sweater: J. Crew Outlet
 photo DSCN4185_zps7eed3b8a.jpg
Necklaces made by me.


pleated poppy

Have a fabulously gorgeous Wednesday! Put on a little lipstick and hold your head up high.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

CURRY CHICKEN (the secret to a great marriage)

I'm about to give you my most prized possession. My this meal trumps them all. This is the yardstick meal that gets measured up to every other meal that I ever fix. This is the best I've got, folks. At least that is what my husband Mike thinks.

Whenever I ask for meal ideas I know that this will be the first one out of his mouth. So he's not allowed to request it any more. What I usually do when I'm in a "what the heck can I fix for dinner this week?" slump, I fix Curry Chicken and THEN I ask him: "Hey Mike, I need meal ideas, and we just had Curry Chicken so ask for something else."

This dish has always been Mike's favorite. He has probably had this for every single birthday for the past 21 years, on many other special occasions. I also make it a lot just because. It is actually one of the easiest and fastest meals I make. I'm pretty sure that thanks to Curry Chicken, I can be 100% sure that Mike will never leave me. I've got the secret weapon that keeps him and his belly madly in love with me.

As with Fettuccine Alfredo, you must throw all diet rules out the window, close your eyes and enjoy every single bite refusing to feel guilty about it.

Disclaimer: This is NOT an authentic Curry Chicken.  Just a simple cream based dish seasoned with Curry Powder.

I hope you enjoy it. Think of Mike and me when you are eating, and pray that you should be so blessed to have a marriage as awesome as ours.

Curry Chicken

1 large onion
1 bell pepper
1 and 1/2  lbs. chicken breast or chicken tenders
2 HEAPING tsps. Curry powder
1 tsps. salt
1 pint Whipping Cream

Serve with white or brown rice. Jasmine rice gives it a real nice flavor too.

Thinly slice your onion and bell pepper and brown with as little oil as possible so it won't stick to your pan.
 photo currychicken_zpscb489cd9.jpg

I put them on medium heat. As they slowly brown, begin to cut your chicken into bite-size pieces.
Don't you just love my gloves? You need to know that I have an aversion to raw meat. I hate, hate, hate, hate raw meat. It is disgusting, and it gets in your nails, and it's gross, and did I mention how much I hate it?

 photo McKinney-20130508-00483_zps085332ae.jpg
 When the onions and peppers are done, slide them onto a plate, add a little more oil to your pan and brown your seasoned chicken.
 photo McKinney-20130508-00486_zps87cfe7b8.jpg
 I like my Curry Powder to get nice and brown and be sticking to the pan without burning
  photo currychicken1_zps095c9f5e.jpg

Add your onions and peppers to the chicken and blend them all in, browning for another minute. Add cream, scrape all of the crusty stuff on your pan and watch it turn a nice yellow mustardy color.
 photo McKinney-20130508-00490_zps5366bbcc.jpg

As soon as you pour your cream, start cooking your rice. turn your heat up a little to bring your cream to a boil. Then lower you heat down. Stir every now and then as it reduces and thickens. If you are lucky and time it right, the rice and the Curry Chicken will be done at the same time.
 photo c2df3054-9808-47bb-8796-053d8b21c8f5_zps89f23981.jpg

 photo 259e30a9-b653-4bfe-9357-e4b1822d7de2_zpse7a0f6f2.jpg
 photo McKinney-20130508-00494_zpsab53b75b.jpg
Sorry I have such a hard time getting the lighting right.
I have found through the years that curry powder seems to get milder and milder tasting. what used to be just two teaspoons has turned into two heaping teaspoons, but I find myself wishing it was stronger and more spicy. Don't be afraid to add more curry if you like the taste and you want to add a little more kick.
Goes well with candied carrots, or a salad, and a good bottle glass of Chardonnay.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday #3

Good Morning Ya'll!
Here is  another edition of What I Wore.
Come on over to Lindsey's and be inspired.
pleated poppy  
 photo McKinney-20130514-00542_zpsc8d4f0ce.jpg
Necklace and earrings made by me.
Shirt: LOFT

  photo McKinney-20130505-00476_zpsf29dc623.jpg
 photo whatiworesunday1_zps789dabb7.jpg
Sweater: Target; Shirt: LOFT; Boyfriend Jeans: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Old Navy; Necklaces made  by Me. (My husband works with leather and actually made the chevron pieces for me) 


 photo whatiworesunday2_zpscf5122e1.jpg
Shirt and Boyfriend Jeans: Old Navy; Shoes: Ross


 photo McKinney-20130516-00570_zpsb8e454ba.jpg
Earrings: Target; Sweater, T-shirt and Boyfriend Jeans: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Old Navy
 Get up and get dressed, even if you are just going to Wal-Mart today. I am.