We Will Weather The Storm

Recently, my fiancé Mike and I had to make the difficult decision to postpone our wedding due to COVID restrictions, something brides and grooms today are all too familiar with. We planned to have our wedding on June 11, 2021 and now have pushed it back to September 17, 2021 in the hopes that COVID might read the room a little and make an exit. The two of us reacted to this change in very different ways: One of us cried and asked the other (dramatically through tears) if we could please get a dog to help cope with the trauma, and the other just began updating the eight million spreadsheets they had created for the wedding. After reading this, maybe you’ll be able to figure out who was who in that situation.

Really nice of COVID to let us get engaged but then it pulled a fast one on us and decided it didn’t want us to get married.

I think the saying “opposites attract” applies pretty well to Mike and me. Mike needs to have everything planned out, organized, neat and tidy and he does things WAY in advanced. I, on the other hand, live my life by the wise words my brother once told me when I was a freshman in college and he was a senior in college-both of us at the University of Dayton. Those words were “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute.” (He told me this when I was trying to decide between going to a party and finishing a paper I had due the next morning….I won’t say what I did, but I will say I still got the paper done.) I don’t plan things out, my organizational skills need work and I procrastinate a bit on things in my life. Mike is a realist and I am an optimist. I love Dunkin’ coffee and he prefers Starbucks. Mike is a numbers and data guy and I am more of a “Where are the pretty pictures? These numbers and text on this page are boring me” type person. Mike likes to research and read reviews of things before making a purchase, I am more of an impulse shopper/buyer. When it came to planning our wedding and choosing different vendors, we had two different approaches. Mike liked to call various companies and compare prices. I value my time and “Go with my gut” when choosing things. A few months ago, when we were trying to find a hotel for our wedding guests, I told Mike that I’d take on the task of finding a hotel and blocking rooms for our out of town guest to stay. Being the planner that he is, Mike took the lead with a lot of our wedding planning, which was TOTALLY fine with me, but I thought I’d offer some assistance on this. Guess I was feeling extra generous that day or something. “Hmmm I don’t know Kath,” Mike said. “I appreciate the offer but I’d like to actually price out hotels and if you do it you’re going to call the first hotel you Google, come back to me and say excitedly, ‘So! I called this place and the guy on the phone sounded really nice! So I think I’m going to go with them!’ and I don’t want to have to tell you no.” I just laughed because his impression of me was spot on and I would have 100% done that.

Photo from when Old Man Montag made us get to the airport 6 days before our flight.
Mike had his guest list all set in a spreadsheet and sent me mine to complete. I definitely procrastinated but made the deadline.

In addition to our different personalities, Mike and I grew up differently. Mike is the oldest and has one brother, I am the fourth of five children (Middle child survivor). His family used coasters and my family did not. (Our coasters were the constant layer of dust on side tables-nature’s coaster). My family bought in bulk (and yet fed us as if it was still the Great Depression and food rations were still a thing) and his didn’t. Mike’s parents bought him proper athletic gear for sports, whereas my parents knew they’d be wasting money on me and made me use hand-me-downs from my older siblings or just said “I’m not buying you those expensive foo-foo soccer shoes you’ll use for a month and then I’ll be tripping over them in the basement for the rest of the year!” (direct quote from my Dad). Mike was allowed to have any type of pop-tart he wanted for breakfast-Oreo, chocolate, s’more you name it! Whereas in our family we could only have the brown sugar ones or strawberry because those were the “healthy” pop-tarts. (He still brags about this.)

This difference in upbringing has led to some interesting experiences and conversations in our relationship, including “the great pickle jar debate of 2019” when I picked out a pickle jar that was apparently “Gigantic” according to Mike. (I thought it was a normal size). And he thought it was pretty funny when I told him that when I was little and played soccer, whenever the referee would line everyone up to check and make sure everyone had proper shin-guards and spikes on before the game, as soon as everyone would turn to show their fancy soccer spikes I would bend down and pretend I was tying my shoe because I didn’t have any. This was just common practice for me growing up.

Here you can see I’m hiding my improper shoes behind the soccer ball as my eyes scream “I’m cold, it’s early take the picture already.”

Not all our conversations are ridiculous ones though. We definitely had some important conversations before deciding we were going to spend the rest of our lives together:

  • We discussed how we would never EVER go camping-we are NOT “outdoor people”-I have no tolerance for cold weather and we don’t like to get our shoes/clothes dirty.
  • We discussed how we will never let our future children play a musical instrument because neither of us are musically talented so we DO NOT want to have to sit and listen to them practice in our home. Or worse-have to attend some sort of concert or recital they may be in. Exception to the rule would be if they had some sort of headphone plugged into the instrument so we wouldn’t have to suffer. If our children have to play the recorder at school I may even have to try and get a doctor’s note to excuse them from bringing that noise gun home. We don’t want that in our home.
  • We will NEVER EVER go to Disney World-crowds, long lines, many of the characters creep me out, the hot sun-talk about our NIGHTMARE! Plus we don’t like rollercoasters. They are too “jolting” for me and Mike just doesn’t like them.
We went to Florida and spent our future children’s college fund on this emergency umbrella from CVS. Sorry kids, we burn easily.
Went to a party and there was a guitar there and I picked it up as a joke and pretended like I knew how to play and then people started coming into the room thinking I was actually putting on a little concert so then I had to fake it and I chose to sing and play the song “American Pie” which was a huge mistake because that is an eight minute song.
Would Disney World or a camp ground pay for dry-cleaning if our clothes got dirty? I don’t think so. We’ll stay away thank you very much.
Our idea of outdoor activity is hanging outside liquor stores waiting for our Uber to pick us up. We’d never survive a weekend camping. And yes, we got carded.

But I think one of the most important conversations came after we purchased a home together (home purchase ordeal will have to be a whole other blog post). We were driving back to our house and Mike said to me, “Kath, I have a very serious question to ask you, and I hope I know your answer but I need your full attention.” I paused the music, turned to him and said, “Ok, I’m ready.” I could tell Mike was a bit nervous and struggled to find the words, but he finally said, “Would you ever want to host a garage sale at our new home?” I grabbed his hand and said, “Michael, absolutely not! Do you not know me at all?” “Thank GOD!” He said relieved” But I continued. “Do you know how much work garage sales are? All the PLANNING that goes into them? Can you really see me organizing a garage sale? Pricing everything out, sorting through things. Ugh! I’m getting anxious just thinking about it!” “Yea you would never do that I don’t know what I was thinking,” Mike said. I continued on my rant: “And THEN after all that AWFUL sorting you have to sit there in the hot sun on a WEEKEND while people come look at our junk? You think I’d give up a weekend for that?” “But what if it turns out our block does one of those big garage sales where every house on the street does a sale?” Mike asked. “Well,” I said with a sigh, “We’d have no other choice but to sell the house I guess.”

Despite all our differences, Mike and I are very much the same. We are both old souls. We love our Dateline and murder shows. We both love Propel and automatically rate a restaurant higher if they have bread on the the table. The two of us have the most random conversations all the time and we share in the same sense of humor. We value and appreciate our differences but also make fun of each other for them, and that is what I think makes us the perfect match. Together, we always have fun and always have a lot of laughs-usually at the other’s expense. As hard as it’s been trying to plan a wedding during COVID, it’s been 100 times easier with my lifelong best friend, Mike. (Talking about my fiancé Mike here, I feel like I need to clarify since I have a lot of family members named Mike. Also, just saying, things may have been 200 times easier with Mike AND a dog, but who will ever know because no one loves me and won’t buy me a dog) While we we were crushed to have to postpone our wedding from our original date of June 11th to September 17th, we’re hopeful that the COVID cloud will not be raining on our wedding plans anymore. But if it does, I know that together, we’ll weather the storm.

Always a great feeling when your shoes and socks get wet.
Fell asleep during this Dateline but I am going to go ahead and guess that the husband did it.
Maintaining more than six feet apart, just to be safe, as we work from home.
We appreciate a solid mini van with ample cup holders.

Wedding Festivities, Round 2

The second Saturday in April was my sister’s wedding, and let me tell you, it was quite the blast. The festivities started on Thursday where we decided to be basic white betches and get mani/pedis at a nail salon while drinking wine. Unfortunately, I do not think the poor nail technician that was doing my sister’s pedicure knew what a tough job he was in for. As I looked over I saw him pull out a large file that looked like it came out of my Dad’s toolbox, and then he went to town on her feet. Not wanting to embarrass my sister we all turned away and pretended we didn’t see…just kidding, we all called her out and laughed. I would have snapped a picture but I didn’t want to spill my wine.

Friday was a very busy day. We had to clean the house and finish up preparations for the wedding. I hope EVERYONE appreciated the purple bows on the mass booklets because that was the work of my mom, my sister Bridget and myself. My mother was really cracking the whip on us with the bows. In fact, I think she might have been a factory manager in her past life the way she was putting us to work and not allowing breaks. I felt like a child in a sweat shop before they passed the child labor laws in America. My fingers are still sore from all the bows I tied. It was very hard to please my mother with the bows as well.
Me: Mom, how does this bow look, is this ok? (trembling)
Mom: Oh that’s fine sweetie…you know what, we’ll just put that one towards the back. It’s fine.
Despite all this I would still say I had a great day. This is because I did not go to work and as I told my father, any day not at work is a great day.
Friday night was rehearsal dinner where I was sure to NOT make the same dessert mistake I made at my brother’s rehearsal dinner. You see, this time around the desserts that were offered were cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. I went with the cookie and boy was I glad I did. There were so many chocolate covered strawberries left and the cookies went in a blink of an eye! Plus I am not a huge fan of chocolate covered strawberries-I just don’t like to mix business with pleasure, ya know? After dinner we all went to bed pretty early since we had an early start the next morning. As we were going to bed I went to turn the humidifier on in my bedroom since I was suffering from a horrific cough. Jane, my roommate, selfish requested that I not use the humidifier because it quote “messed up her hair” and she wanted to look her best on the day of the wedding. I was just appalled. Leave it to a youngest child to be more selfish than a middle child like myself. But, being the martyr that I am I suffered and did not use the humidifier that night. I was hacking like a coal miner the day of the wedding but Jane’s hair looked great so that’s all that matters right?

Me and the selfish betch who put her hair needs before the health of her sister. Her hair does look great though doesn't it?

Me and the selfish wench (on the right) who put her hair needs before the health of her sister. Her hair does look great though doesn’t it?

Saturday we were up bright and early getting our hair and makeup done. There is nothing quite like getting bobby pins shoved into your scalp by a hair stylist to wake you up in the morning. Once there was blood dripping from my head I knew my hair would stay in place all night and look great. After my face was on and my hair was done I put on my bridesmaid dress and damn, did I look good. I credit this in part to the extra padded bra I had purchased for this very occasion. The tag on the bra claimed the bra would make you look so good that it would “stop traffic” which I though would come in handy in case the limo parked across the street from the church. I felt like a little bit of an impostor with the bra on, I’m sure everyone knew I was a fake, but it helped keep my dress on seeing as the dresses were strapless and I have the body of a 9 year old girl.

Me and Mike Sr. being the bad asses that we are.

Me and Mike Sr. being the bad asses that we naturally are.

Once everyone was all dolled up we headed to the church for the mass. My sister decided against having the “love is patient, love is kind” reading at her wedding and I don’t blame her. After my performance of that reading at my brother’s wedding back in November I thought it should be retired too. I don’t think anyone could fill my shoes in reading that passage. The mass went pretty smoothly-no one tripped walking up or down the aisle so that is always a blessing. I was the first bridesmaid to walk down the aisle so there was a lot of pressure on me to look pretty and not mess up. Luckily looking pretty and not messing up comes naturally to me. Just like my performance of the love is patient reading I nailed the walk. After mass, we went in peace to love and serve the Lord and take a million pictures. My face hurt from smiling almost as much as my head hurt from having those bobby pins drilled into my skull.
After mass it was time to party at the reception. And party we did. I brought my selfie stick to document the whole reception which was a great idea. Took a lot of gems. In fact I’m not even sure why my sister hired a professional photographer when she knew I was bringing my selfie stick. I could have saved her a couple bucks.

Absolutely breath taking isn't it? Of course I'm talking about the hardwood dance floor. Look at that shine. I think they gave it a fresh wax before the reception.

Absolutely breath taking isn’t it? Of course I’m talking about the hardwood dance floor. Look at that shine. I think they gave it a fresh wax before the reception.

It was very emotional for us as siblings watching our oldest sister dance with our father at her wedding. As you could see we were very choked up.

It was very emotional for us as siblings watching our oldest sister dance with our father at her wedding. As you could see we were very choked up.

I call this one

I call this one “waiting in line at the bar”. I really had to stretch to get the bartender in there, even with my extendable blue tooth selfie stick, but I succeeded.

Shout out to my cousin for being tall and getting us all in this shot.

Shout out to my cousin for being tall and getting us all in this shot.

The celebrations went well into the wee hours of the morning. I was so tired when I got back to my hotel room to go to sleep that I didn’t even take the bobby pins out of my hair or wipe off my makeup. Because of this the next morning I woke up and my pillowcase looked like the cloth Veronica used to wipe the face of Jesus.
Having 2 siblings get married in 5 months was a bit much for us, but it was also a lot of fun. Thankfully, me and my 2 sisters, the 3 old maids left in the family, made a pact to spread out our future weddings over a longer span of time (Please pray that we get married. Please Lord let us get married). I’m not sure what we will talk about at the dinner table now that both weddings are over. Actually it will probably be what we talked about before-Duke and the neighbors. Life will be back to normal I guess!

Cupcakes and Wedding Cake

Prince William and Kate better step aside, because I am pretty sure I attended the wedding of the century this past weekend when my brother married his beautiful wife in Cleveland. The wedding weekend started off on a bit of a rocky start though. My parents, sister Bridget and I intended to leave at 6 in the morning on Friday while the rest of the family left a few hours later, but we were running late. Then we had to stop at the bakery to pick up a dessert for the rehearsal dinner and our cupcakes weren’t ready! Clearly the bakery workers do not know our family because if they did they would know that NO ONE messes with the Kelly family and their baked goods. After waiting about 20 minutes we finally got our cupcakes (we already had our cookies in the car) and got on the road. The ride from Chicago to Cleveland is usually about 5 hours, but since we had to stop about 15 times to feed my father’s Diet Coke addiction, it took us a little longer. Plus, he drives incredibly slow. I love the guy to death, but I’m pretty sure I saw a snail pass us on the highway. Fortunately, we spotted the golden arches in the distance (McDonald’s) – it was like seeing a rainbow after a horrific thunderstorm – and stopped there for lunch. I took the liberty of ordering two large fries instead of one large and one medium for the group. My Dad thought this would be too much but we ate them all, so I’m going to go ahead and take credit for the one bright spot in the awful traveling experience.

Once we arrived at our hotel we hurried to get ready for the rehearsal at the church and then to the dinner. The cupcakes and cookies at the rehearsal dinner were displayed beautifully. My intention was to have both a cookie and cupcake, but my plans were crushed. I am not as wise as my older sister, Bridget, who noticed the cupcake to cookie ratio right away and thus, altered her plan of attack. I first ate a cupcake and then when I went back for round 2 -my cookie – they were all gone. I was visibly upset and went back to my table to be consoled by my sisters:

Me: Gosh darn it I didn’t get a cookie!

Bridget: Yeah, that’s because you didn’t strategize as well as I did, dummy. You see, there were only 12 Mrs. Field’s cookies, but 48 cupcakes. I noticed the cookies were going very fast so I grabbed a cookie and later will go back for a cupcake

Boy was she smart to do that. We had so many cupcakes left over, and since we can’t let any dessert go to waste, we forced ourselves to eat them. I think I was averaging 6 cupcakes a day by the end of the weekend. Obviously I had 2 for Breakfast since they are just like a donut. The others I had to squeeze in between meals.

Saturday was another early morning because our appointments to get our hair and makeup done started at 7:45 am. We were also late for that due to my younger sister Jane having to run back up to our hotel room to get a water bottle. You see, I grabbed myself 2 water bottles because I know the importance of hydration and she selfishly thought one of them was for her. Typical youngest child if you ask me. I’m a middle child, survival of the fittest is my motto so I’m always prepared and never share. But we made our appointments and my mom and sisters looked beautiful. I looked stunning.

A couple of hours, and a few cupcakes later, it was time for the ceremony where I was finally able to fulfill my prophecy of reciting the cliche wedding reading of Corthinians 12:31-13, “Love is patient, love is kind.” And wow did I put on quite the show. My adjustment of the microphone, my dramatic pause for emphasis before I said the ending line of “love never fails.” I’m actually getting choked up just thinking about it.  I feel I truly had my audience on the edge of their seats wondering what love really  is with every word I said.

After the ceremony concluded we took a few pictures (Get ready for the Kelly family Christmas card 2014) and headed for the reception, which was a blast. My sister and I were lucky enough to capture this beautiful moment of our mother and brother during the Mother Son Dance. Obviously we were very emotional.

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We spend most of Sunday counting the amount of likes we got on Facebook.  I’m happy to report we reached our goal of 70 likes. Thanks everyone! Couldn’t have done it without you!

But unfortunately, unlike love, good times must come to an end. And before we knew it we were leaving Cleveland to go home. We didn’t leave empty handed though, No. As if 30 leftover cupcakes weren’t enough for our fat ass family, we also took home a box of leftover wedding cake. I really wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

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Individually wrapped pieces of cake-perfect for breakfast on the go.

As we drove through Indiana, the Sunday Blues started to set in. Luckily we all took Monday off from work, and since not working is one of my favorite things to do, my Sunday blues were kept to a minimum. That is until we stopped at Burger King. Now as anyone who has driven from Chicago to Cleveland will know, there are not many places to stop and eat. You have very limited choices. Burger King was really our only option. I can feel you all judging us so stop it! I am not a fan of Burger King because every time I go I have a bad experience. The King and I have somewhat of an abusive relationship; each time I go he does me wrong, and yet I keep crawling back in desperation. I say it will be the last time but it never is, the evil demon I call hunger gets the best of me time and time again. There was a KFC right next door but for some reason it was ridiculously expense. I love KFC, but I wasn’t going to let Colonel Sanders pull one over on me like that. After eating my burger patty between two stale buns, my cold fries and sub-par fountain Diet Coke, I was really regretting my choice.
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This was taken pre-Burger King, obviously.

Sunday was a bitter sweet day. We were sad that the wedding was over, but thrilled that our “Fit for 14” diets were finally over. Those last couple of days were really hard, if I wasn’t so committed to our “Fit for 14” pledge I might have had 7 cupcakes the day before the wedding instead of 6. It was all worth it though for an amazing weekend. Cheers to the bride and groom! One boy down, four old maids to go in the Kelly family!