Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Such a boy

Scene: Wedding Reception
Characters: Liam (ring bearer) and Stephen (Friend of Liam's parents)

As Liam's parents are busy at the head table, Stephen agrees to take Liam for a restroom break. As they enter the bathroom, they notice that there are TVs in bathroom! (This is a very "Arty" and "Conceptual" venue). Playing on the TV in the men's room?  Scenes from "Casablanca".

Liam exclaims: "Hey there are TVs in here!!!!!"

Stephen explains: "Yes!  That is Humphrey Bogart. He was a pretty cool dude, Liam."

Liam, unimpressed, shrugs and states: "It'd be better if they had the game on."

Wedding Wonderful-ness

Patrick and Jillian are MARRIED!

This past weekend we celebrated a most wonderful occassion. The marriage of my brother and my dear friend - and now sister - Jillian.  How awesome to have your relatives both be not only your relatives, but your dear friends!  Nick looks at Patrick as a brother, truly. And the feeling is mutual. Nick was Patrick's Best Man. I was honored to be a bridesmaid. K & L were flower girl and ringbearer.  The only things missing that day were Erin and her clan, but as Erin is less than three weeks from her due date, she could not fly lest the baby decide to make a not-too-early appearance.  However, we did set up an online video conference and Erin and her family were visible on the computer screen to us as they all watched the wedding live, and in entirety, through the miracle of modern technology.  Thank you, Steve Jobs! :)

It was a beautiful BEAUTIFUL fall day where the weather cooperated completely.  Guests were ferried to the wedding site (my parent's lakeshore) via boat and Patrick and Jillian exchanged vows in a gorgeous, peaceful setting.  After the ceremony, we were all boated back to the cars where we then headed downtown to a very chic and urban location for a wonderful reception. Nick gave an amazing speech that brought tears and laughter to all and the kids boogied as if their lives depended on it. It was an AMAZING AMAZING day. The best part of weddings, other than the visible commitment that two people are making to one another, is all the love in the room from the friends and family that are there to support them at the start of their journey. It is so touching. How lucky we are to be surrounded by so much love.

Here are some pics of the big day!

 The Bride and Groom with K & L

 Lovely Bride

 Pics with the Minneapolis Skyline

 Bridesmaid sister and Groom brother

 First Dance

 First Dance

 Dancing machine. Stole all the hearts.

 Joyful Flower Girl

 Doing a Super Job!

 So happy.

 Cheeeeese. I was seriously kidding around in this pic like a senior high photo. The flowers worked I guess :)

 The men.

Man, wife, and crew - off to the reception!

Chicago, Chicago - My Kind of Town!

Just before the start of school the Harris crew piled in the car and took a road trip down to Chicago. It was a fantastic "last hurrah" before the start of school. We celebrated the end of the summer by visiting my godparents, spending time with my 90 year-old grandma who had just had a hip-replacement, and seeing all kinds of friends and family who either lived in town or were in town for my cousin's wedding. The kids had an absolute BLAST. We stayed downtown for a couple nights where we showed the kids Millennium Park, went dancing in Grant Park, spent hours in the Art Museum and more. It was, in a word, WONDERFUL. Here are some pics:

 Nick in Millennium Park at Night

 Maggie reflected in "The Bean" in Millennium Park

 The kids happily playing inside "The Bean" in Millennium Park

 The Harris Crew and Nia and Gramps smiling in "reflection" :)

 Kiddos exploring Millennium Park

 Liam LOVING the fountain in Millennium Park - he got positively drenched.

 Evening stroll down Michigan Avenue

 Daddy and Daughter dancing in Grant Park

 We did the family audio tour at the Art Institute. It was AWESOME and the kids really got into it. You can see the headphones on them. They were attached to this iPod-like device where you punched in a code for each painting and it told you all about it. The family audio version had all kinds of music and neat sound effects and spoke to the kids' level. SO GREAT.

 The Chicago Art Institute has free painting and family activities so of course we took advantage! So fun!

The whole family getting artistic...

Back to School!

The kiddos are back to school!  Both Kate and Liam are THRILLED to be back and are loving every minute of class time. Kate is in First Grade (!) and is such a terrific little learner. We have entered the world of spelling tests, math homework, and piano lessons.  She jumps into every day with a smile and embraces every opportunity. Life just thrills my little peanut. From what is on the lunch menu, to whether it is a "gym day" or an "art day", she loves to know what is ahead and looks forward to each moment. Kate has tested at the Fourth grade reading level, so while she will still receive instruction with her peers, she will also be excused from class a few times a week to work with a more advanced reading group. I am thrilled for her.

Liam is loving preschool, though is very excited about Kindergarten next year as he mentions it regularly.  He is making good buddies, working hard on his letters, and playing enthusiastically.  He loves animals and will stop any person on the street to politey ask "may I pet your dog, please"? He is a total joy an delight to be around (though his sister would say he sometimes is a bit of an annoying shadow!)

Here is a pic of Liam's first day:

Here is a pic of Kate's first day of school (it was so chilly that day!). I am sorry I don't have a better one - my camera was not working and this is from my phone.