Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Photo Op

So.... on Rachel's last visit, we conned our friends Lori and Donnie into taking Un-Official Engagement Photos of us. Being the wonderful friends that they are, they happily agreed. We scoured all of Arkadelphia to find the perfect locations. No, the trash container wasn't the perfect location - just an homage to my family (owning/ having owned trash companies).

We started off at Feaster Trail. It was just a little too early in the season to get much in the way of Autumn color, but the pictures looked great. The setting is so good that it almost looks like an Olan Mills background was rolled down behind us.

We eventually made our way downtown to get some "urban" shots (the alley behind the Beehive is as urban as it gets here). We actually got a great picture (not shown) that we'll probably use as a Save The Date Card (which Lori is designing for us).

The old church/dry cleaners at Caddo and 7th made a great location. Donnie has this great little Polaroid camera that does these neat panoramic shots.

Click on the pictures to see them enlarged.

This photo, probably one of my favorites, was taken in the wooded area between our clinic and the hospital.

Thanks for enduring my obvious narcissism, but they're really good pictures! Donnie and Lori do a great job; of course, with subjects like Rachel and me, how could you go wrong?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Autumn Engagement Party

So.... my family hosted the first official celebration of our upcoming nuptials. Rachel came to visit this past weekend, and we thought we might invite some people over. I mentioned this to my mom who turned "might invite some people over" into engagement extravaganza, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! The party certainly gave me impetus to get the house finished, and aside from some neglected landscaping and a couple of janky ceiling fans, the house was complete prior to the party.

I ordered flowers from Mary and Martha's Florists, and the owner David did a wonderful job.

Entry Hall Table (please notice the new pineapple lamp)

The centerpiece for the coffee table was gorgeous (and massive).

Instead of one centerpiece for the dining room, I ordered three small arrangements that we were able to scatter amongst the buffet.

Earlier that day, Mom, Rachel, and I set up the buffet table, making sure there was a platter, bowl or tray for everything.

The invitations stated "6pm Open House." Well, all of central Arkansas poured into my house promptly at 6:02. It was so exciting to see everybody show up to wish us well. Rachel and I stood in the entry hall and greeted our guests as they arrived. My wonderful family did a phenomenal job of "catering" and hosting. Thanks go to Gabe, Rebecca, Hannah and Tyler for dips, snacks, and fruit. Thanks to Ray (Dad) for the fire pit and roasted pork. Thanks to Matt for all of his help and for the photos of the party. Kaitlin and Tricia (Mom) prepared a majority of the dishes and made sure the table was full of food throughout the party.

The friends were many, the food was great, and the energy was palpable.

Friends visit with one another in the living room.

Guests enjoy the opium den... er, I mean the cozy sun porch.

Neal and the college men station themselves in the dining room (right by the buffet table).

Rachel and Lori smile for a photo op, while Donnie enjoys the witty banter of adult sophistication.

The Kears graciously endure one of my boring anecdotes.

Thanks to all of our friends who traveled near (around the corner) and far (Gurdon, Little Rock, Louisiana, the Deer Woods) to help us celebrate our engagement. We hate that some of you couldn't make it that evening (that's okay, it meant more food for us). Rachel and I are overwhelmingly blessed to have you in our lives and enthusiastically appreciate your friendship.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Fun

So.... we had a little fun on Halloween this year. No maniacal pumpkin killers like last year, but I still gave out full size candy bars. We had about 170 trick-or-treaters - that's approaching my Tennessee Halloweens.

Rachel spent the weekend in Arkadelphia with me. We won't be able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas together this year, but we weren't missing a Halloween together for anything. We dressed as Fred and Wilma. One kid said, "you're either a caveman or Fred the Flintstone." My sister's boyfriend thought my wig made me look like Clay Aiken, and I agree that the wig looks flat-ironed (but nowhere near Aiken standards).

Travis also dressed up. He was Dino, but only for about 3 minutes, despite the frantic effort that Rachel and I gave to get it ready that afternoon.

Not too shabby of a dog costume for 1.5 hours (with no prior planning or pattern).

Part of the fun with dressing up is having trick-or-treaters recognize you (or wonder who you are because they can't quite place you). I gave an enthusiastic "Hey!" to one Dad, and he had quite a puzzled look on his face until he realized I was his daughter's pediatrician. I was asking one "tween" what her costume was, and her intrigued but repulsed reply was, "You're my doctor!" Our favorite quote of the evening was from an 11 year old boy (with a group of his friends) who stated quite loudly, "Hey, you're the doctor that figured out I had constipation!"

Since Rachel was in town, we celebrated by having an informal party (costumes were of course required). Donnie made his pumpkin head costume from scratch; it was an amazing piece of wearable sculpture. Lori made a wave pattern skirt and came as Leanne Marshall, winner of Project Runway Season 5.

Rachel S. came as Sarah Palin.

My sister Kaitlin and her boyfriend Matt wore camouflage and came as "Upper and Lower GI."

My mom teased out her hair, wore big jewelry, and carried around boxes of butter. You guessed it... Paula Deen.

Rachel even tried on Donnie's pumpkin head.

Meet the Flintstones

So.... Rachel and I chose the Flintstones as our theme for Halloween.

More later... I promise.