Friday, July 23, 2010

wedding photo sneak peak

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm kind of loving me some cowboy hat :)

More to come...

Friday, July 16, 2010

peanut butter ball perfection

When wedding planning, the mom and I concluded: the best option for little wedding gifts were Hershey Kisses wrapped in black fabric, tied with a green bow. Guests could enjoy the sweet before, after or never during the reception and the only work we’d have to do was purchase the buggers and their wrapping. We’d wrap them the day before the wedding and presto change-o, DECORATIONS!
Peanut butter balls are round, delicate, peanut-butter infused rice krispe treats the size of a 3-D quarter dipped in chocolate of milk or dark varieties.  They require multiple steps of working, waiting and freezing as well as about a hundred hours to complete. I’ve only helped make them once or twice, for fear the sheer mass of work and time required would prevent me from enjoying the morsels in the future.  
My mom and aunts insist they’re a Christmastime only treat. They take sooo long, they say. Perhaps the you-can’t-have-it nature adds to the flavor, but every time my mom would call and ask what I wanted her to cook for upcoming holidays or family gatherings, skip the casseroles mom, "peanut butter balls" was always my answer. I’d plead for them at Christmas, after Christmas and the entire duration of North Dakota winters -- six months in some cases. 
Sometimes mom made scotcheroos or peanut butter balls in a pan, but the result was never the same. Peanut butter balls cannot be reproduced. They must be creamy peanut butter, rice krispes and in golf-ball form. Impostors need not apply.
So since I have a knack for raising my mother’s blood pressure, I called her one morning and told her I wanted peanut butter balls at my wedding instead of Hershey Kisses. This is sure to rattle her cage, I thought to myself, laughing. Three hundred peanut butter balls at a June wedding. Preposterous. 
Who told you, she asked when I called.
Wha??? What do you mean who told me?
Aunt Bev and I were going to surprise you, she said. Why would we give Hershey Kisses at your wedding when we could serve your favorite candy instead?
Apparently, my cage would receive the rattling. 
Uhhhh.... because Hershey Kisses are easier, cheaper and WAY less time-consuming.... I said. 
Yeah, but they’re also boring, she said. Peanut butter balls are... just more you.
Like I said before, mothers are ALWAYS right.
And with aunties, cousins and a grandmother already volunteering, I did none of the work save taste-testing. They always give me the tough jobs...
I’m not entirely sure how the day of Ryan-Anderson wedding peanut-butter-ball making progressed suffice it to say a sweet the size of my face emerged upon the bridal table. 

Note the chocolaty wonder and its proportion to my facial features.

Apparently, my Aunt Mary “can dip anything.”
I have no doubt. She also makes a mean devils egg. 
I’m not sure how long those ladies worked and if it was proportionate to the number of hours spent conversing about Longaberger baskets, but the peanut butter balls passed my test. My only fear was consuming one too many and not fitting in my wedding dress. 
If I dropped one and melted chocolate stained the soft white fabric however, that was no matter. Like my mom said, it’s just more me. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hunting the half dead

A small-town woman told me she took her nephews hunting yesterday.

Yep, hunting, she said. Because I hit a beaver and it wasn't dead yet.

Now, I have some crazy aunties, but they're packin' chocolate chips, self-made Santas and Longaberger baskets. Not .22s.

Levi said it best when I wondered what the H-E- double Lead-free ammo did I get myself into.

Life with me, he said, will never be dull.

Hunting for half-dead beaver... I'm not sure if I'm afraid.... or intrigued...

More wedding stuff tomorrow, including a peanut-butter-ball post to all my crazy aunties :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

my wedding was so fun i want a divorce so i can do it all over again

I haven't written in a full, calendar month. My fingers itch, my mind burns and I have so much to say even deaf people tell me to shut up.

I'm married now.

My mom said I could skip writing thank yous for a night and moms are always right. Except when they tell you to clean your room, don't pick your nose in public and iron your Catholic school girl skirt before you wear your pajama pants beneath it. Otherwise, they're right EVERY time.

Mom told me to go to a coffee shop and ignore the tiered chip dip sets and Longaberger baskets sprouting through my loveseat, but I prefer to stay home where the food is free and pants are optional. Did I just overshare again? I'm out of practice. Sorry about that. But seriously, creativity can not be confined to clothing. It's unnatural.

Anyways, if you missed the wedding, you missed an evening of great steaks, great dancing and goooood-looking cowboys. All the fears of tears I'd had flattened like the North Dakota landscape. Eyes watered with tears of joy, except for when the best man thanked me for proving Levi really wasn't playing for the other team as he and his friends had suspected. Those may have been tears of rage or truth...

Note: the maid of honor prepared a toast and leaned on note cards for support. Unlike the best man, she considered her speech beforehand and even presented me a gift. The best man, well, I'm not sure he practiced, but I laughed anyway. The maid of honor may have spilled the beans about me dancing in the halls, memorizing the choreography to every new Brittney and Christina video, but she didn't mention the time we got lost in foreign countries and accepted rides from strangers, got flashed by said strangers, got smooched on camera by other strangers, etc. Now that I think about it... those all occurred in France. I'd like to say that country is whack (a saying I picked up from my mom) but it was an American in Rome who wore a scrunchie in her hair, tears in her eyes and capri pants where her man parts used to be. She screamed all night in the bunk below me and when the she didn't get her way with the U.S. Embassy the next morning, she replaced her high-pitched "Heather" personality with "Stephen" the baritone. The hostel we stayed at was supposed to be segregated by sex, but I guess in Italy, gender is a matter of preference.

But back to the wedding.

Levi and I developed a code before the ceremony. If we felt an onset of tears, we'd talk about the weather. OR SO YOU THOUGHT, suckas!

Fifty percent chance of rain, I'd say, if I worried my eyes would trickle.

There's a 92 percent chance it's already raining, he'd say if he felt the same.

The goal was to distract each other: Think of a funny story or find the drunkest cowboy and dance with him. We could keep crying at bay that way.

We never needed it, but it was good to know it was there.

Part of the reason we didn't need it is because I'm a buffoon. The most sentimental point of the day, the part where if you don't cry, your heart is full of charcoal and you probably ate babies for breakfast, I totally biffed it. Not literally like I fell down the aisle and my dad caught me, but biffed it, like, I forgot about the moment entirely.

See, dad and I navigated the nave like we were celebrities. I felt like Lindsay Lohan... all the cameras and people I knew... I couldn't pay attention to the sacredness of the service or the fact that I was supposed to hug and kiss my dad as he gave me away even though I ain't nobody's possession, OK ese?

So the pastor had to give us the ol' hint-hint, nudge-nudge and I still had no idea what he meant. My dad kissed my cheek before I realized it was the big moment I insisted the photographer capture even if she took pictures of nothing else. Sorry dad. I'll make it up to you at my next wedding?

And then I missed the other big moment too. The first smooch as husband and wife. I was so relieved about not fumbling over my vows or my voice cracking as I sucked back the sniffles, I totally neglected the nuptial nuzzle. We'd even practiced. The pastor watched. But no. I ruined the moment. Again.

So since the ceremonial smooch didn't go as planned, Levi and I had plenty of chances to redeem ourselves.

That's another new thing about this blog. We're married now. Levi gets a name although I'm still not convinced he gets a deer on the wall.

Anyway, many, many ching-chings were made in our honor at the reception. The kind of ching-chings requiring the bride and groom to stand up, swap spit and continue with their meal. I'd rather see crazy American-in-Rome-woman's chest hair than pucker in public, but the 252 guests didn't seem to mind. I played along until the cake was served. Chocolate cake... with raspberry filling. Attention must be paid. Kissing can come later.

Usually kissing comes in the honeymoon suite. Perhaps you're afraid I'll wander into the waters of don't-write-that-where-other-people-namely-coworkers-can-read, but fret not. This story completes the evening without over-sharing... I don't think.

We get into the room and it's over... finally over... a momentous occasion I wanted to celebrate and mourn at the same time. Part of me wanted after-party and part of me wanted sweat pants. Amidst my ambivalence, the phone rang.

Who is calling the honeymoon suite at 1 a.m.? Mom, now is NOT the time for the talk, OK?

It wasn't my mom and it wasn't my dad or any other member of my crazy family although I wouldn't put it past them.

Who is this? Levi said into the receiver like he figured it was a telemarketer or something.

Who is this? The voice replied.

No... tell me who this is, Levi said with an authority I've heard him use only around electricity and deer-head decorations.

Tyler Aaaa.... the voice said before Levi hung up the phone and unplugged it from the wall. We're still not sure why he called or how he got the number. But the story is one of my favorites of the whole evening. I won't tell you who Tyler is, suffice it to say he was on Levi's side of the guest list, and as it sounds, would have prefered his side of the bed too.

Gah! I went too far didn't I? Shucks. I ruined it. I'm a wedding ruin-er.

Well. That sums up the wedding night. At least for now. Perhaps tomorrow I can tell you the tales of the wedding morning and the succulent seafood I caught on our honeymoon.

Stay tuned.

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